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TB Drug Price Reduced After Pressure from TB Community

September 2015

This week, the price of a critical drug used to treat drug resistant tuberculosis (TB), cycloserine, was reacquired by its previous manufacturer and the price was significantly reduced following pressure from the US TB community, including the ATS.

Cycloserine was acquired last month by Rodelis Therapeutics, which raised the price of the drug from $500 for 30 capsules to $10,800. The ATS worked with the National TB Controllers  Association (NTCA), Stop TB USA and other partners to quickly communicate with Rodelis about the devastating impact the price increase would have on state and local public health programs and TB patients, who would no longer be able to afford the drug. The sudden lack of effective treatment options would have put US communities at risk for transmission of dangerous multi-drug-resistant-TB. Following the pressure from the community, Rodelis returned cycloserine, to its former owner, The Chao Center, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Purdue University. In a statement released on Monday, a spokesman for the Chao Center stated, "Following a substantial increase in the cost of Cycloserine by Rodelis, it became clear that the Rodelis strategy was not consistent with the Chao Center's expectations or vision."

The new price for cycloserine has been set at $1,050 for 30 capsules, twice the original cost, but far below what Rodelis had proposed. Cycloserine is used to treat about 300 patients in the U.S. with drug resistant and drug susceptible TB. The issue with cycloserine reveals the vulnerability of the US TB drug supply, as many of the drugs are produced by sole manufacturers. The ATS will continue working with its partners to develop solutions to enable a stable, affordable TB drug supply in the US and globally.

Last Reviewed: October 2017