Estimated generic prices for novel treatments for drug-resistant tuberculosis

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2017 Apr 1;72(4):1243-1252. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkw522.


Background: The estimated worldwide annual incidence of MDR-TB is 480 000, representing 5% of TB incidence, but 20% of mortality. Multiple drugs have recently been developed or repurposed for the treatment of MDR-TB. Currently, treatment for MDR-TB costs thousands of dollars per course.

Objectives: To estimate generic prices for novel TB drugs that would be achievable given large-scale competitive manufacture.

Methods: Prices for linezolid, moxifloxacin and clofazimine were estimated based on per-kilogram prices of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). Other costs were added, including formulation, packaging and a profit margin. The projected costs for sutezolid were estimated to be equivalent to those for linezolid, based on chemical similarity. Generic prices for bedaquiline, delamanid and pretomanid were estimated by assessing routes of synthesis, costs/kg of chemical reagents, routes of synthesis and per-step yields. Costing algorithms reflected variable regulatory requirements and efficiency of scale based on demand, and were validated by testing predictive ability against widely available TB medicines.

Results: Estimated generic prices were US$8-$17/month for bedaquiline, $5-$16/month for delamanid, $11-$34/month for pretomanid, $4-$9/month for linezolid, $4-$9/month for sutezolid, $4-$11/month for clofazimine and $4-$8/month for moxifloxacin. The estimated generic prices were 87%-94% lower than the current lowest available prices for bedaquiline, 95%-98% for delamanid and 94%-97% for linezolid. Estimated generic prices were $168-$395 per course for the STREAM trial modified Bangladesh regimens (current costs $734-$1799), $53-$276 for pretomanid-based three-drug regimens and $238-$507 for a delamanid-based four-drug regimen.

Conclusions: Competitive large-scale generic manufacture could allow supplies of treatment for 5-10 times more MDR-TB cases within current procurement budgets.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Antitubercular Agents / economics*
  • Antitubercular Agents / standards
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Commerce
  • Diarylquinolines / economics
  • Diarylquinolines / therapeutic use
  • Drug Costs*
  • Drugs, Generic / economics*
  • Drugs, Generic / therapeutic use
  • Fluoroquinolones / economics
  • Fluoroquinolones / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Nitroimidazoles / economics
  • Nitroimidazoles / therapeutic use
  • Oxazoles / economics
  • Oxazoles / therapeutic use
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / drug therapy*
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / economics


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Diarylquinolines
  • Drugs, Generic
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Nitroimidazoles
  • OPC-67683
  • Oxazoles
  • bedaquiline
  • Moxifloxacin