Partners In Health Welcomes Reduced Price of High-Quality Test to Diagnose Tuberculosis, Urges Transparency and Solidarity
Lower costs will expand access to high-quality care
Posted on Sep 19, 2023
Partners In Health (PIH) welcomes the news that Danaher Corporation will lower the price of its high-quality tuberculosis test cartridge, the Xpert MTB/RIF Ultra, by 20 percent and urges the Washington, DC-based conglomerate to do more.
Tuberculosis ranks as the world’s deadliest infectious disease. In 2021, 1.6 million people—equivalent to the population of Trinidad and Tobago—died of it and 10.6 million people—equivalent to the population of Greece—fell ill. Over 80 percent of deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries.
“In rural, extremely poor settings, people with tuberculosis fight valiantly every day to survive,” says Lindsay Palazuelos, PIH Senior Director of Policy & Government Accompaniment. “This price reduction will help us give more patients the care they deserve.”
PIH has relied on Xpert tests since 2012 and currently uses them daily in Haiti, Peru, Malawi, Rwanda, Lesotho, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Kazakhstan. In most of these places, there is a chronic shortage of cartridges because of their high cost.
Carole Mitnick, PIH TB Specialist and Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, was heartened to hear of the move to expand access to high-quality care, but pointed out questions unanswered in press releases. These include:
- Danaher says it will sell the cartridges “at cost.” How can this be publicly verified and will they partner to work toward lower costs?
- When will other Danaher test cartridges, including the XDR cartridge, be available at more affordable prices?
“It’s truly exciting to imagine more patients getting prompt diagnosis,” says Mitnick. “We’ve got much more to do and important questions that need urgent answers, but I’m deeply thankful for everyone—activists, clinicians, scientists, everyone—who acts in solidarity with those suffering from a disease too often ignored.”