The TB CAB reiterates its request for Johnson & Johnson to commit to a global price for bedaquiline that is no higher than US$32 per month.
The Global Tuberculosis Community Advisory Board (TB CAB) acknowledges the US$400 price for six months of bedaquiline, announced by the government of South Africa in Amsterdam as a step towards further lowering the price of this essential medicine.
The reduction from US$150 to US$67 per month, however, does not go far enough to ensure equitable access to bedaquiline for all people with rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis (RR-TB). Further price reductions will be necessary to allow for bedaquiline access to all who need it, and to meet the Médecins Sans Frontières target price of a $500 total RR-TB treatment course. The price Johnson & Johnson offered to South Africa (US$67 per month) is four times the US$16 per month price at which researchers from the University of Liverpool have calculated bedaquiline could be produced and sold at a profit. It also remains more than double the US$32 per month price the TB CAB stated would be acceptable given current volumes.
The TB CAB reiterates its request for Johnson & Johnson to commit to a global price for bedaquiline that is no higher than US$32 per month, and to further reductions that are pre-set based on volume targets, transparent, and negotiated with global partners including South Africa, the Global Drug Facility, and civil society. This global price must extend to all countries, including countries that are not eligible for Global Fund funding.
In the meantime, the governments of other countries should not wait for further price reductions to implement bedaquiline widely; all country programs should follow the example set by South Africa by including bedaquiline in the standard recommended regimen for RR-TB, in place of an injectable.