disease treatment

Multigram drug depot systems for extended drug release could transform our capacity to effectively treat patients across a myriad of diseases. For example, tuberculosis (TB) requires multimonth courses of daily multigram doses for treatment. To address the challenge of prolonged dosing for regimens requiring multigram drug dosing, we developed a gastric resident system delivered through the nasogastric route that was capable of safely encapsulating and releasing grams of antibiotics over a period of weeks. Initial preclinical safety and drug release were demonstrated in a swine model with a panel of TB antibiotics. We anticipate multiple applications in the field of infectious diseases, as well as for other indications where multigram depots could impart meaningful benefits to patients, helping maximize adherence to their medication.

A cross-sectional study was conducted among 735 new adult tuberculosis (TB) cases registered between January to December 2015 in 10 woredas, equivalent to districts, of southwestern Ethiopia. TB patients waited too long time to initiate anti-TB treatment, reflecting longer periods of morbidity and disease transmission. The delays are attributed to patient, disease and health system related factors. Hence, improving community awareness, and involving informal providers, health extension workers and TB treatment supporters can reduce the patient delay. Similarly, cough screening and improving diagnostic efficiencies of healthcare facilities should be in place to reduce provider delays.

A follow up study among 735 new TB cases registered at health facilities in districts of southwest Ethiopia was conducted from January 2015 to June 2016. Patients reported days elapsed between onset of illness and treatment commencement. The overall treatment success among the treatment cohort was 89.7% respectively among those initiated treatment beyond and within of 30 days of onset of illness. Higher risk of unsuccessful outcome was predicted by treatment initiation beyond 30 days of onset, HIV co-infection, and received treatment at hospital. On the other hand, lower risk of unsuccessful outcome was predicted by weight gain and sputum smear negative conversion the end of second month treatment. Higher risk of unsuccessful outcome is associated with prolonged days elapsed between onset of illness and treatment commencement. Hence, promotion of early care seeking, improving diagnostic and case holding efficiencies of health facilities and TB/HIV collaborative interventions can reduce risk of unsuccessful outcome.

A change of continuation phase tuberculosis (TB) treatment regimen from ethambutol (E) and isoniazid (H) combination for 6 months (6EH) to rifampicin (R) and isoniazid (H) combination for 4 months (4RH) was recommended. However, the effect of the regimen switch in the Ethiopian setting is not known. A comparative cross-sectional study among 790 randomly selected new cases of TB (395 each treated with 4RH and 6EH during the continuation phase) was conducted in nine health centers and one hospital in three zones in southwestern Ethiopia. The switch of continuation phase TB treatment regimen from 6EH to 4RH has brought better treatment outcomes which imply applicability of the recommendation in high prevalent and resource constrained settings. Therefore, it should be maintained and augmented through further studies on its impact among the older, rural residents and HIV positives.

 In 2013 the Global Drug Facility reduced the price of the second-line drugs it supplies for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB): the overall cost of the longest and most expensive treatment regimen for a patient decreased by 26%, from US$7,890 in 2011 to US$5,822 in 2013. The price of treatment for MDR TB was reduced by consolidating orders to achieve large purchase volumes, by international, competitive bidding and by the existence of donor-funded medicine stockpiles. The rise in the number of suppliers of internationally quality-assured drugs was also important. The savings achieved from lower drug costs could be used to increase the number of patients on high-quality treatment.

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