In January 2015, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approved bedaquiline, an important drug for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) and one of the first new tuberculosis (TB) drugs developed in over 40 years. Despite approval, bedaquiline remains virtually inaccessible throughout India.
The conditional access program for bedaquiline, announced by the Revised National TB Program (RNTCP) on 21 March 2016, restricts the provision of bedaquiline to just six centers in five states. As of 1 August 2016, only eight patients have received bedaquiline under this program . Further, the program will only treat 600 patients, despite the fact that many of the 71,000 people in India estimated to get DR-TB each year stand to benefit from accessing bedaquiline.
The Government of India must be held accountable for the rapid implementation and further expansion of the RNTCP’s conditional access program to this life saving drug.
 DR-TB STAT. Country updates: numbers at a glance. Accessed 29 July 2016.