Clinical Experience of Filipino Clinicians on the Use of Bedaquiline for Treating Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis

Carl Abelardo T. Antonio, Chelseah Denise H. Torres, Vivian S. Lofranco, Aneliese H. Torres, Stephanie M. Lao, Amiel Nazer C. Bermudez, Erwin G. Benedicto


Background: The Philippines is among countries globally with high multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) burden. An operations research on Bedaquiline (BDQ), a new drug for MDR-TB, was launched by the Department of Health (DOH) in 2016.

Objective: This paper aimed to gather the opinions and first-hand experiences of clinicians in the Philippines regarding BDQ.

Methods: A facilitated roundtable discussion among nine clinicians included in the operations research on BDQ in the Philippines was conducted in June 2018. Topics covered included: (a) considerations in the use of BDQ, (b) outcomes of patients given BDQ, and (c) perceptions on effectiveness and safety of BDQ. Recordings and field notes from the discussion were subjected to framework analysis.

Results and Conclusion: Participants gave BDQ an overall positive feedback due to the effectiveness, less
toxicity, and ease of administration compared to other anti-TB drugs. Issues on BDQ included the novelty of the drug that caused doubts at first use and the limited application of the drug as dictated by the inclusion criteria within the context of the operations research, among others. The significant number of patients lost to follow up and ways to address this challenge were also discussed.


Bedaquiline; multidrug-resistant tuberculosis; clinical experience; physicians; Philippines

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