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A drug developed in the 1950s, and one still in use in veterinary
circles, could cure drug-resistant tuberculosis for pennies a day. A new study
shows that oxyphenbutazone can kill the bacteria that cause TB—even the
Unfortunately, the drug has run out of its patent protection, and it was
inexpensive to begin with, so big drug companies won’t study it because they
won’t make money from it. The drug would need to go through the extraordinarily
expensive New Drug Application process, which requires testing on animals. But mice—the
cheapest animal on which to test drugs—metabolize the drug too quickly for it
to be studied that way, so the testing costs would even be higher than normal.
Contact the FDA, with a copy to Congress, and insist that a way be found
around present bureaucratic barriers that prevent oxyphenbutazone from
being reviewed for possible approval for drug-resistant tuberculosis. The
threat of a worldwide pandemic in drug-resistant TB is very real. This is an
urgent matter and there is no time to lose. Just because oxyphenbutazone is
off-patent and therefore of little interest to drug companies and hard to study
is no excuse.
How Congress Can Eradicate the Worldwide Tuberculosis Pandemic
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]