Over 15,000 people in India have availed the GeneXpert test in eight months after IPAQT came into being

The number of labs/private hospitals in the country offering the WHO-approved tests like GeneXpert, Line Probe Assay (LPA) for diagnosing TB disease at a subsidised price has reached 54. There are over 10,000 collection centres spread across the country.

In eight months since the novel initiative — Improving Access to Affordable & Quality TB Tests (IPAQT) — was launched, the number people accessing these labs for the subsidised tests has risen to 30,000. Of them, over 15,000 people have availed the Xpert test. These people have been referred by private doctors.

That the WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Report 2013 had highlighted this novel initiative reveals how important it is.

“The price is internationally set at $9.98 per cartridge. No matter who is buying it (in any country), if their currency is weaker against the U.S. dollar, then it will affect them,” Dr. Madhuka Pai noted in an email to this Correspondent. Dr. Pai is one of the Governing Council Members of IPAQT and an Associate Professor at McGill University, Canada.

Read the full article in The Hindu.

January 9, 2014