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Health ministry intensifies fight against TB, writes to state TB officers to collect patient data

Laxmi Yadav, Mumbai
Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Aiming at increasing notification of all tuberculosis patients and extending patient support services so that eradication of this deadly infectious disease could be achieved by 2025, the central TB division (CTD) of the ministry of health and family welfare has directed state TB officers to coordinate with state drug controllers to collect details of TB patients and prescribers from Schedule H1 register from all the pharmacies in their respective state and send it to CTD and DCGI.

The information collected in coordination with state drug authority will help initiate follow up action with providers and patients.

On January 3, 2018, Dr Sunil Khaparde, deputy director general and head of central TB division, ministry of health and family welfare had written to all state TB officers in this regard after a meeting was held under the chairmanship of Dr Jagdish Prasad, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in last week of December 2017 for coordination between DCGI and CTD to increase access of anti-TB drugs and use of Schedule H1 at private pharmacies.

The meeting aimed at increasing notification of TB patients by effective use of Schedule H1 (containing anti-TB drugs) implementation from private pharmacies and increasing access to anti-TB drugs supplied from Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) to private pharmacies for TB patients.

RNTCP has taken several new initiatives such as daily regimen, universal drug susceptibility testing, active case finding in vulnerable groups, and cross reference between HIV and TB cases. The government also announced a cash incentive of Rs 500 for all TB patients as nutrition support.

The aim of RNTCP is to establish linkages with the private sector and extend free drugs, diagnostics and treatment support services to TB patients seeking care from the private sector. A big share of these public private linkages for TB can be made at the level of chemists and pharmacists from where patients purchase anti-TB medicines, prescribed by private practitioners/clinics.

In the video conference held on October 30, 2017, the secretary, health & family welfare had directed all state governments to reinforce implementation of Schedule H1 in the states and ensure availability of Schedule H1 register.

As per Schedule H1, pharmacies are required to dispense anti TB drugs on prescription of a registered medical practitioner and maintain a separate register containing the name and address of the prescriber, the name of the patient, the name of the drug and the quantity supplied and such records shall be maintained for three years and be open for inspection.

According to World Health Organisation Global TB Report 2016, India accounts for 2.8 million of the 10.4 million new TB cases globally. XDR TB constitutes 10 per cent of total MDR TB cases.


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