FIND statement on Cepheid GeneXpert TB cartridge price reduction

Every year, more than 4 million diagnoses of tuberculosis (TB) go undiagnosed and unreported – a catastrophe that was exacerbated by disruptions to health systems as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The burden of TB falls most heavily on low- and middle-income countries.

GeneXpert was the first molecular PCR test to become available for TB, making it possible to confirm a TB diagnosis within hours, compared with the weeks or months required for the standard method of cell culture. Critically, the introduction of GeneXpert for TB paved the way for other PCR tests for TB, including the Molbio Truenat PCR TB test, developed and manufactured in India.

FIND welcomes today’s announced price reduction for GeneXpert TB cartridges to US$7.97, which is in line with the current price of the Truenat TB cartridges, and demonstrates the importance of market competition in global health. In addition to these two tests, several new molecular point-of-care tests are entering the market, which will increase the availability of molecular testing for TB, for other respiratory diseases like COVID-19 and influenza, and for diseases like cervical cancer. These will enable diagnosis in primary care and community settings, where patients first seek care.

We believe the availability of multiple molecular test platforms and the continued market expansion will bring even lower prices. FIND remains committed to working with TB test manufacturers to improve access to TB diagnostics with a focus on:

  • Easy-to-use, low-cost, non-sputum-based, rapid tests for diagnosing active TB that are suitable for use in primary healthcare and community settings, which work through the collection of easily accessible samples
  • Rapid drug-resistance tests that can determine response to critical drugs, inform treatment selection, and safeguard medicines against antimicrobial resistance
  • A simpler test to proactively screen individuals at high risk of progression from TB infection to active disease and enable targeted preventive treatment
  • Digital and AI-based diagnostic and decision-making tools to support community-wide screening and early detection of TB, in all its forms