Many of the current tuberculosis control programmes in the Russian Federation are based on costly strategies which are underfunded and use long, individualized treatment regimens. This article compares, using a cost-effectiveness analysis, the new WHO strategy implemented in the Ivanovo Oblast (case-finding among symptomatic patients (SCF) and shorter regimens) and the old strategy (active screening of the asymptomatic population (ACF) and longer regimens). The cost per case cured was calculated at different levels of cure rate (45-95%) using three scenarios to describe the new WHO strategy (use of WHO-recommended regimens and three options at increasing rates of admission) and a fourth scenario to describe the old strategy (all patients admitted for the whole treatment and longer regimens). The cost per case detected was determined by calculating the following: yield of the new and old strategy (number of examinations necessary to diagnose one case); cost of the diagnostic process; multiplying yield per cost according to the three scenarios describing the new WHO strategy and a fourth scenario describing the old strategy. In the Ivanovo Oblast the cost per case cured, at 85% cure rate level, ranged from US$ 1197 (new strategy, scenario 1 without food) to US$ 6293 (old strategy, scenario 4) the cost per case detected ranged from US$ 1581 (new strategy, scenario 1) to US$ 4000 (old strategy, scenario 4). Significant savings can result from shifting towards the new WHO strategy. Decision-makers and health administrators should be responsible for re-investing the financial and human resources mobilized by the adoption of cost-effective strategies within the TB control programme.