An international study has investigated the potential financial benefits of shorter courses of treatment for people with tuberculosis (TB).
At the moment, the standard treatment for TB lasts at least 6 months, however new drugs are currently being developed that could reduce this period to 4 months.
The study, published in the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, explored the financial implications of TB treatment on people with the disease in Bangladesh and Tanzania.
Researchers looked at ‘out-of-pocket expenses’ associated with each stage of a 6 month course of TB treatment, which included hospital stays, food, travel and loss of earnings among family members when nursing their sick relative or taking them to appointments.
They found that, while the last two months took much less of a financial toll than the rest of the treatment period, there was still a significant cost to patients and their families.
This could suggest that a shorter course of treatment could reduce the financial burden on individuals.
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