Price reductions for liquid culture tests will accelerate access to
improved TB diagnostics
SEATTLE, June 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- BD (Becton, Dickinson and
Company; NYSE: BDX), a leading global medical technology company, and FIND
(Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics), a Swiss foundation that develops,
evaluates and accelerates the implementation of new diagnostic tools for
poverty-related diseases, today announced a significant price reduction in the
cost of liquid culture testing.
The agreement lowers the cost of BD MGIT(TM) reagents. BD's TB diagnostic
technologies utilize liquid culture, a key "standard of care" TB testing
protocol that provides results far faster than traditional, solid media
culture. The liquid culture test, widely used in modern research settings, is
particularly effective for stemming the spread of multi-drug-resistant TB
(MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) in developing countries.
"By collaborating with such leading global health organizations as FIND,
BD's Global Health initiative implements diagnostic programs that help
strengthen healthcare infrastructures in developing countries," said Krista
Thompson, Vice President and General Manager, Global Health, BD. "With an
emphasis on accessibility, affordability and sustainability, BD provides
on-the-ground technical assistance, training and products that maximize the
capacity to diagnose TB, including drug-resistant strains, in nations where
the disease is most prevalent."
The price reduction -- announced five months earlier than anticipated --
arises from a November 2007 agreement between BD and FIND. At that time, BD
agreed to reduce already below-market prices upon the completion of 3.5
million tests, a milestone achieved this month. The lower prices will enable
more tests to be administered in 39 high-burden countries, as identified by
the World Health Organization (WHO).
"We are very happy about this price reduction for a needed assay to better
and more rapidly detect MDR-TB and XDR-TB. These results are also a direct
outcome of a fruitful collaboration with public and private partners such as
UNITAID and BD," said Dr. Giorgio Roscigno, FIND Chief Executive Officer.
"During a time of severe economic distress, resources are constrained and
high-burden countries face intensified healthcare challenges. This agreement
means that it will be possible to make this test more accessible and
affordable to those who need it most, which is very encouraging and
"With financial support from UNITAID, state-of-the-art technologies to
diagnose MDR-TB are being introduced in low-income countries for the first
time by FIND, GLI and GDF," said Jorge Bermudez, Executive Secretary of
UNITAID. "UNITAID has also approved the expansion of the project with a new
grant of US$ 61 million to extend access to these superior tests to an
additional 11 high burden countries."
Under the terms of the agreement, the reagents will now be discounted 80%.
Slight price variations will occur for end users because of shipping costs,
tariffs, fees and other local costs that vary from country to country. The
agreement provides for potential added discounts as test tube volume expands.
BD and FIND said they were able to accelerate the program with the help of
financial support from a consortium consisting of UNITAID, the Global
Laboratory Initiative and Global Drug Facility, along with FIND itself.
Over the next four years it is expected that partners GDF, GLI and FIND
will provide equipment, reagents and technical expertise in identified
countries for modernizing and expanding TB laboratory diagnostic capacity.
FIND and BD had announced the initial pricing agreement in November 2007
shortly after the WHO's Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for TB
recommended liquid culture technology based on demonstration studies conducted
by FIND in eight countries.
BD and FIND announced the price reduction today at the Pacific Health
Summit, which is held annually in Seattle, WA. The Summit's 2009 theme is
"MDR-TB: Overcoming Global Resistance."
FIND, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is a not-for-profit Swiss foundation
whose mission is to drive the development and implementation of accurate and
affordable diagnostic tests that can be used as near as possible to where
patients first seek care. FIND's disease portfolio currently includes
tuberculosis, malaria and human African trypanosomiasis and current donors are
the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the European Union, the Government of the
Netherlands, UNITAID, Irish Aid and other institutions and private donors.
FIND is ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 13485:2003 certified. For more information,
please visit: www.finddiagnostics.org.
BD is a leading global medical technology company that develops,
manufactures and sells medical devices, instrument systems and reagents. The
Company is dedicated to improving people's health throughout the world. BD is
focused on improving drug delivery, enhancing the quality and speed of
diagnosing infectious diseases and cancers, and advancing research, discovery
and production of new drugs and vaccines. BD's capabilities are instrumental
in combating many of the world's most pressing diseases. Founded in 1897 and
headquartered in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, BD employs approximately 28,000
people in approximately 50 countries throughout the world. The Company serves
healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, the
pharmaceutical industry and the general public. For more information, please
SOURCE BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company)
CONTACT: Alyssa Zeff, BD, +1-201-847-4358 (office),
Jewel Thomas, FIND, +41(22)710-27-86 (office),
+41(79)830-63-64 (mobile), Jewel.Thomas@finddiagnostics.org
Web Site: http://www.bd.com