Five million additional tests can be procured with this lower price.
19 September 2023
GENEVA – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) announced today a new collaboration with Danaher Corporation (Danaher), a global science and technology innovator who will provide Cepheid’s Xpert® MTB/RIF Ultra diagnostic test cartridges for tuberculosis (TB) at the price of US$7.97, a 20% reduction from the current price of US$9.98. Danaher has committed to providing these test cartridges at its own cost and states that it will earn no profit from these sales. The agreement between Global Fund and Cepheid also covers improved service and maintenance arrangements and is expected to expand access to millions more high-quality TB tests for people living in low- and middle-income countries where the demand is most pressing.
The Global Fund, together with the Stop TB Partnership, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other partners have engaged in recent years with Cepheid and its parent company, Danaher, to achieve better market access and affordability. As a result of recent discussions, good progress has been made in driving affordable access to essential diagnostic testing solutions in support of the global goal to end TB around the world by 2030.
“I very much welcome Danaher’s commitment which should enable significantly expanded access to the communities most in need,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “Reducing the price of these sophisticated TB tests by 20% will give a significant boost to our collective efforts to scale up testing and save lives.”
The Xpert® cartridges are particularly important for diagnosis of drug-resistant TB, the form of TB resistant to the most commonly used drugs. In 2022 alone, it is estimated that around 20 million Xpert® cartridges were procured. This new agreement would enable more than 5 million more tests to be provided, expanding access significantly in communities that need it most.
“Almost half of people diagnosed with TB are still diagnosed using the microscope and clinical examination, like hundreds of years ago, while the recommended diagnosis for everyone is the rapid molecular test,” said Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership. “This drop in the Xpert® cartridge price is a step forward as we now have two rapid molecular tests below US$ 8, which makes it a bit easier on the already small national budgets for TB. This is not just due to the collective efforts of our three organizations, but also thanks to the efforts of multiple partners, TB survivors, civil society and advocates from the TB and health space as well as simple citizens who care for people with TB.”
Welcoming the announcement, Atul Gawande, USAID’s Assistant Administrator for Global Health, said: “Millions of people globally have undiagnosed TB and innocently spread it to their family and communities. This price reduction will help hundreds of thousands more people in need – a major step in making access to lifesaving tests more equitable for all."
This is a pivotal milestone in the organizations’ joint efforts to accelerate the supply diversification agenda, which contributes to more equitable access to quality-assured health products to ensure the coverage and point of care for patients.
The Global Fund plays a proactive, deliberate and strategic role in shaping markets to facilitate access to products and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria. Through its NextGen Market Shaping approach, the Global Fund will contribute to health outcomes by leveraging its position to facilitate healthier global markets for health products, today and in the future. This vision reiterates the importance of a proactive approach and emphasizes the linkage between the Global Fund’s market-shaping efforts and its focus on health outcomes.