The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA has approved a new treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), which can be used in addition to the usual treatments if these have failed.
Treating drug-resistant tuberculosis can take years and can cost 200 times as much as treating the ordinary form of the disease.
The drug, called Sirturo, is the first in a new class of drugs that aims to treat the drug-resistant strain of the disease.
The approval was the first time in 40 years that the agency had approved a drug that attacked tuberculosis in a different way from the current treatments on the market. Sirturo would be used on top of the standard treatment, which is a combination of several drugs.
However, the FDA also warned that the drug carries some significant risks and doctors should make sure they use it appropriately and only in patients who don’t have other treatment options.