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Treatment interruptions and inconsistent supply of anti-tuberculosis drugs in the United Kingdom

Capstick, TGD; Laycock, D; Lipman, MCI; UK Coalition Stop TB, ; (2011) Treatment interruptions and inconsistent supply of anti-tuberculosis drugs in the United Kingdom. INT J TUBERC LUNG D , 15 (6) 754 - 760. 10.5588/ijtld.10.0568.

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Abstract

SETTING: National Health Service (NHS) centres treating tuberculosis (TB) in the United Kingdom.OBJECTIVES: To describe NHS TB treatment centres' experience of obtaining anti-tuberculosis drugs to treat drug-susceptible and drug-resistant TB between 2007 and 2009. In particular: 1) any difficulties experienced in obtaining different drugs; 2) resulting interruptions or alterations in the prescribed regimen; 3) availability of paediatric formulations; and 4) resources available to identify and manage drug shortages.DESIGN: Questionnaires were sent to pharmacists at 168 treatment centres.RESULTS: Of the 77 (46%) treatment centres that responded, 63% (48/77) reported difficulties in obtaining anti-tuberculosis drugs. Consequently, 27% had to interrupt the prescribed treatment regimen at least once, whilst 19% had to alter the regimen. Of 55 centres treating multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, 36% reported difficulties obtaining second-line drugs, 16% had to interrupt the prescribed treatment regimen at least once and 5% had to alter the regimen. A lack of licensed liquid formulations for children resulted in 26% of treatment centres using unlicensed, variable-strength liquids and locally prepared suspensions.CONCLUSIONS: Difficulties obtaining drugs to treat both drug-susceptible and drug-resistant disease are common in the UK. There are particular risks for children. Our data identify an urgent need for national strategic guidance to ensure a consistent and reliable supply of anti-tuberculosis drugs.

Type: Article
Title: Treatment interruptions and inconsistent supply of anti-tuberculosis drugs in the United Kingdom
DOI: 10.5588/ijtld.10.0568
Keywords: tuberculosis, United Kingdom, essential, drugs, health resources, TB
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Respiratory Medicine
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1328264
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