In Armenia, MSF and the Ministry of Health started a programme in April 2013 using Bedaquiline to treat Drug-Resistant TB (DR-TB) patients. Bedaquiline is one of the two new drugs developed for TB in almost 50 years.
As the drug has not yet completed all the trial courses and is not yet available on the market, its use is only limited for now to compassionate use, which is a case-by-case authorisation from the manufacturer to use it for patients for whom existing drugs do not work anymore. This is the case for patients suffering from Extensively Drug-Resistant TB (XDR-TB).
Today, some 30 MSF patients have started this treatment course. They are the third biggest group of patients using Bedaquiline (the first two being France and South Africa).
Armenia is currently the only country in which MSF provides this new drug.