According to the company, the expanded India programme aims to broaden access to treatment for multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), improve detection of undiagnosed cases, build critical health systems and raise awareness about TB at the community level. The intitiative is part of Johnson & Johnson's 10-year goal of achieving a world without TB.
"TB is a devastating disease that claims nearly half a million lives in India every year," said Sarthak Ranade, managing director, Janssen India, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary.
Ranade added that the company is collaborating with the Central government and with several multilateral and non-governmental organisations to support the country's efforts to root out the disease by 2025, as outlined in its National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination.
Johnson & Johnson's TB programme in India includes technical assistance to build capacity and establish new TB culture and drug-susceptibility testing facilities in at least seven sites across India. The focus would be on high-burden TB states of Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The company will also launch a pilot initiative to expand TB-control efforts in the private sector, where most patients initially seek care.