WASHINGTON, March 24, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- A Senate briefing today will discuss TB and drug-resistant TB, including multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extensively drug resistant (XDR-TB), the impact on global health and the current state of surveillance, diagnosis and treatment around the world. The briefing, Bringing Established Methods to Scale: New Perspectives in the Changing World of TB, is co-hosted by the Global Health Council, American Thoracic Society, Stop TB Partnership and The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership.

Held in Hart Senate Office Building, Room SH-902, at 10:00 am ET on World TB Day, March 24, the briefing marks the midway point for the Global Plan to Stop TB 2006 - 2015, which is a comprehensive assessment of the action and resources needed to implement the Stop TB strategy and make an impact on the global TB burden. Expected achievements are to expand equitable access for all to quality TB diagnosis and treatment; to treat 50 million people; to save 14 million lives; to introduce in 2010 the first new TB drug in 40 years; to detect active TB through diagnostic tests at the point of care allowing rapid, sensitive and inexpensive detection by 2010; and to have a new, safe, effective and affordable vaccine by 2015.(1)

"In order to meet the goals of the Global Plan to Stop TB, we need to mobilize support, including political commitment," said Dr. Jeffrey L. Sturchio, president & CEO, Global Health Council. "We need to ensure that our response matches the severity of this pandemic."

The global theme for World TB Day 2010 is "On the Move Against Tuberculosis: Innovate to Accelerate Action." Panelists at the briefing will address the urgent need to scale up efforts and continue to seek new and innovative ways to stop TB.

Briefing panelists include Dr. Ernesto Jaramillo, Team Leader for MDR-TB for the World Health Organization's (WHO) Stop TB Department, who will address the WHO's recently released Multidrug and Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis: 2010 Global Report on Surveillance and Response.

In addition to Dr. Jaramillo, Dr. Rachel Nugent, deputy director for Global Health for the Center for Global Development, will discuss how MDR-TB can inform growing concerns about the larger context of drug resistance in global health.

Dr. Celine Gounder, director for deliverables for the Consortium to Respond Effectively to the AIDS/TB Epidemic (CREATE), will address the combined epidemic of TB and HIV and the effects of community-based research.

"Through The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, we know effective collaboration is a key component in battling this daunting disease," said Robert Smith, senior director of corporate responsibility for Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) and president of the Lilly Foundation. "It's not done through a single act, but through a series of joint initiatives that improve outcomes for some of the world's most vulnerable patients."

There were 9.4 million new TB cases in 2008, including 1.4 million cases among people living with HIV. 1.8 million people died from TB in 2008, including 500,000 people with HIV - equal to 4,500 deaths a day. TB is a leading killer of people with HIV.(2) Today's TB drugs are more than 40 years old and must be taken for at least six to nine months for drug-susceptible tuberculosis.(3) MDR-TB is a form of TB that is difficult and expensive to treat and fails to respond to standard first-line drugs. There were an estimated 500,000 new MDR-TB cases in 2007. Just over 1% of cases were receiving treatment in 2008 known to be based on WHO's recommended standards. XDR-TB, which occurs when resistance to second-line drugs develops on top of MDR-TB, been found in 57 countries to date.(2)

About The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership

The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership was created to confront multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Since 2003, the public private initiative, mobilizing 22 partners on five continents, has worked together to share expertise in the quest to contain and conquer one of the world's oldest diseases. The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership is funded by Eli Lilly and Company.

About Global Health Council

The Global Health Council is the world's largest membership alliance of public health organizations and professionals dedicated to saving lives by improving health throughout the world. The Council's members work in 140 countries on six continents.

About American Thoracic Society

The American Thoracic Society (ATS) is a non-profit, international, professional and scientific society for respiratory, critical care and sleep medicine. The ATS is committed globally to the prevention and treatment of respiratory disease through research, education, patient care and advocacy. The long-range goal of the ATS is to decrease morbidity and mortality from respiratory disorders and life threatening acute illnesses in people of all ages. In keeping with these goals, the American Thoracic Society interacts with both national and international organizations which have similar goals.

About Stop TB Partnership

The Stop TB Partnership, hosted by the World Health Organization in Geneva,

Switzerland, consists of more then 900 international organizations, countries, donors from the public and private sectors, and nongovernmental and governmental organizations that are working together to eliminate TB. The Partnership's Global Plan to Stop TB (2006-2015) sets forth a roadmap for halving TB prevalence and deaths compared with 1990 levels by 2015.

1) "Frequently Asked Questions." The Global Plan to Stop TB 2006-2015.. 18 Mar. 2010

2) "2009 Update Tuberculosis Facts;" World Health Organization, Stop TB Partnership. 18 Mar. 2010

3) "Mission and History;" TB Alliance. 18 Mar. 2010


(Logo: )