According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), tuberculosis (TB) causes the death of one person every 18 seconds1. Estimates suggest that there are about 10 million people suffering from tuberculosis every year worldwide, of whom 5%, that is, about 500,000 patients have multidrug-resistant tuberculosis4.
Lower-income countries with an annual Gross National Product per capita less than US$755 contain 42% of the world’s population2. 65% of the TB cases worldwide can be located in these countries, as well as 71% of deaths caused by TB2. According to the World Bank, TB will cost about $1 trillion to $3 trillion in the world’s poorest countries by 20271.
In March 2020, Meiji Holdings’ annual revenue was $11.5 billion5. In 2010, the Kanamycin drug by Meiji was approved by the Global Drug Facility (GDF) as an anti-tuberculosis drug3;p17. A vial of 4ml solution for injection of Kanamycin is available to the GDF at a price of $2.583;p16.
In an effort to improve access to pharmaceuticals in developing countries, Meiji supplies Kanamycin to patients suffering from multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis4. In a collaboration with the Stop TB partnership6, Meiji has supplied Kanamycin to patients suffering from TB in remote areas of Asia and Africa4. Since 2011, Meiji has provided approximately 140,000 patients with Kanamycin through this United Nations project4.
Meiji’s efforts to provide access to Kanamycin is a laudable initiative that can save thousands of lives all over the world. The company has provided people in lower-income countries with the necessary medicines to fight the disease that has already claimed many lives.