Myth #15: TB medicine is easily affordable.
The direct cost of treating TB is still relatively high. In 2018 in the United States, the average cost for each patient to complete a treatment regiment for TB was as follows:
- The cost of treating drug sensitive TB was $49,000.
- The treatment costs for multi drug resistant (MDR) TB averaged
- The treatment costs for extensively drug resistant (XDR) TB
These costs, particularly for treating MDR and XDR cases, simply remain too high to be scaleable, particularly since the most TB-afflicted countries are already resource strapped and lack strong and appropriately funded health care systems. One way to reduce costs is to invest in the development of novel, more effective, better tolerable, and more affordable treatment regimens that allow for a significant reduction of treatment duration.
However, to meaningfully address TB, there must be a holistic approach that not only focuses on lowering cost of treatment but also addresses other real barriers to TB care, such as the limited availability of diagnostics, a lack of centralized models of care and inefficient regulatory approval systems.
The Costly Burden of Drug-Resistant TB Disease in the U.S., 2018.