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Activism on rifapentine pricing: removing cost barriers to improve the uptake of tuberculosis research innovations
Public Health Action
As recent advances have been made in developing tools to fight tuberculosis (TB), there is also a trend towards increasing advocacy by the civil society for TB research and access. One recent successful effort to increase access to treatment options for TB involved a collaborative effort to identify the need for and barriers to the use of rifapentine (RPT) use in the United States. Survey responses confirmed the under-utilization of RPT: 82% of survey respondents selected cost as a significant or potential barrier to use. Survey results provided data to support a year-long advocacy campaign urging the drug company Sanofi to lower the price of RPT. This campaign was based on a common evidence base built in part by the stakeholders themselves. After multiple engagements with communities and providers, Sanofi US announced on 12 December 2013 that they would drop the price of RPT to US$32 per blister pack of 32 tablets for US public health programs. While further work remains to secure access to RPT in the United States and worldwide, the lowering of the price of RPT reflects the positive impact that collaborative advocacy can accomplish, and sets an example for other drug companies to follow.
DeLuca A, Frick M, Lessem E, Kanouse J, Wegener D, Ruiz Mingote L. Activism on rifapentine pricing: removing cost barriers to improve the uptake of tuberculosis research innovations. Public Health Action. Dec 2014;4:238-241.