Prelims level : Medicine and Pharmaceuticals Mains level : Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
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Why in News?

  • The coil eliminates the need for daily drug administration and brings down cost

TB treatment:

  • The treatment of tuberculosis is becoming more difficult as most patients don’t adhere to the
  • treatment regimen which includes six to nine months of daily antibiotics. This also contributes to emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria

Coil loaded with antibiotics

  • Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S., have developed a coil loaded with antibiotics that can stay in the stomach for up to a month and release the necessary drugs in the required doses.
  • This eliminates the need for daily administration and also brings down the cost of treatment.
  • The coil is made of a nickel-titanium alloy (nitinol) and looks like a small slinky toy.
  • Just like adding beads on a string, the researchers added 600 pills (4 mm height and diameter) of different formulations to the coil
  • The pills were spray coated with a special polymer which enabled controlled release of the drug. Laboratory studies showed that the coated pills were able to release the drugs slowly for up to one month. the researchers stretched out the coil and inserted it through the nose into a pig’s stomach.
  • When asked why nasogastric route was used instead of oral, author of the study said: “As of now, the nasogastric tube is the feasible way to deliver this device since the largest swallowable capsule can only hold 1 gram of drug at most. This tube enables delivery of more than 10 grams of drugs.”
  • Endoscopic evaluation showed that having such a large coil in the stomach did not cause any injury or ulcer. There was also no weight loss or limitations in the passage of food and water. The coil can be retrieved via the same nasogastric route by inserting a tube which attaches to the magnet on the coil.
  • The team also analysed the economic impact of this new treatment regimen and the paper
  • notes that the cost could be reduced by “more than $8,000 per patient”

Elimination of TB

  • India accounts for about a quarter of the global TB burden.
  • India has set the target to eliminate Tuberculosis in India by 2025.
  • To evolve a strategy in this regard, India has put in place National Strategic Plan 2017 –2025 which sets out the government plans of how the elimination of TB can be achieved
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