LillyPad, Our Company Blog: Fighting MDR-TB, Together

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LillyPad, Our Company Blog: Fighting MDR-TB, Together

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Learn what Lilly and its partners are doing to fight MDR-TB. Read more on LillyPad at #globalhealth
Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 9:00am

CAMPAIGN: Lilly Global Health Programs


October 27th, 2011 | By: David Marbaugh

Bonjour! Greetings from Lille, France, where we just announced the third stage of The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, our program to help fight against multidrug-resistant tuberculosis – a disease that kills more than 150,000 people each year.

Treatable and preventable – and virtually eradicated in the U.S. – MDR-TB typically afflicts people in low-to middle-income countries. Like the name implies, MDR-TB is resistant to most antibiotics that work against TB.

In 1996, the non-profit organization Partners in Health began pioneering work that showed an 80 percent cure rate for MDR-TB using several drugs, including two antibiotics that we supplied and had planned to stop making. Faced with a decision about what to do with these products given this new-found need, we began work that evolved into The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, which launched in 2003.

With an initial infusion of $70 million, we began giving away our manufacturing technology, formulas, patents, and know-how freely to seven other manufacturers in countries with high MDR-TB rates. In 2007 we expanded the original duration and scope of the partnership by committing an additional $50 million (plus another $15 million to help others with early drug discovery efforts focused on TB).

Today we announced that we are committing another $30 million dollars to the partnership from 2012-2016, which will bring our total to $165 million. That’s a lot, but it’s a drop in the ocean when it comes to fighting MDR-TB. Billions are required.

Our goal is to work with our partners over the next five years to pilot new ways of approaching MDR-TB, with the goal of sharing what we learn so that others can replicate those efforts that work best. You can read all about it in our press release and get a sense for what the partnership does in this video news release.

And while today marked the official announcement, it was an honor to spend the past three days meeting with partners, global health leaders and journalists who share our passion for turning the tide on MDR-TB. There is much work to be done, but based on what I witnessed in Lille, we’ve got the angels on our side.

I am always proud to work for Lilly. Today the proud dial was turned up to eleven.

Read about the partnership's third stage in our company press release.  Visit to learn more about The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership.


About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation is developing a growing portfolio of pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers – through medicines and information – for some of the world's most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at


Eli Lilly and Company
Keywords: Innovation & Technology | Lilly | MDR-TB | Partnership | multidrug-resistant tuberculosis

CAMPAIGN: Lilly Global Health Programs