SA to save millions with new TB drug: Motsoaledi

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Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says South Africa will save at least R36 million after successfully negotiating for a massive drop in price of multi-drug resistant TB drug, Bedaquiline.

The Health Department recently announced that it would replace current injectable drugs with the new drug Bedaquiline, which is more effective and has fewer side effects.

The current drugs have more toxicity and severe side effects which include hearing loss and kidney failure.

Motsoaledi made the announcement at the 22nd International Aids Conference in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Motsoaledi says, “Its selling for $750  (per patient). We have been negotiating with Jansen and we reached a breakthrough that we will now get that drug for $400, they will cut $350. This was negotiated by us in SA, the whole world is gaining from it. And that agreement is for the next eight months that will be the end of the tender, after which we might cut it further. So that’s a very very big achievement for us, it will save R36 million for SA in the next eight months.”