An international health initiative has brokered a landmark accord that aims to halve the price patients pay for advanced tests for tuberculosis that is resistant to standard drugs… Under the accord—coordinated by the nonprofit Clinton Health Access Initiative and a McGill University professor—several diagnostics manufacturers will give private Indian laboratories the same steep discounts offered to India and other poor governments. In return, the laboratories agreed to a top price for the tests that is about half of the current market price in India. “We convinced the manufacturers that if they made the best diagnostics more affordable, a much larger numbers of patients would use them. That’s good for the manufacturers and good for TB control,” said Madhukar Pai, an associate professor at McGill University in Canada and one of the world’s top TB experts, who helped put together the initiative.

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March 19, 2013