New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry has decided to implement a new treatment regimen for leprosy aimed at stopping its transmission at the sub-national level by 2027, three years ahead of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Ministry of Health has decided to introduce a three-drug regimen for Pauci-Bacillary (PB) cases in place of a two-drug regimen for six months, according to the latest globally accepted scientific research studies and evidence-based practices.
In letter to states and Union Territories, Deputy Director General, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Dr Sudarsan Mandal said the National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) is taking all required steps to stop the transmission of leprosy at the sub-national level.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has taken a significant step in the treatment regimen of Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT) for leprosy patients in India.
“With the approval of the competent authority, the Ministry of Health has decided to introduce a three-drug regimen for Pauci-Bacillary (PB) cases in place of a two-drug regimen for six months, according to the latest globally accepted scientific research studies and evidence-based practices,” the letter sent on January 17 read.
“As the World Health Organisation (WHO) has agreed to supply the revised drug regimen from April 1, 2025, therefore all states and Union Territories are requested to send their requisition of anti-leprosy drugs, 12 months before the timeline,” Mandal said.
Also, the revised classification of leprosy and treatment regimen for paucibacillary (PB) and multibacillary (MB) cases in India will be implemented in states and Union Territories from April 1, 2025.
“We believe that this new treatment regimen for leprosy patients will mark a significant step forward in our collective efforts to eradicate leprosy in India by 2027,” the letter said.
WHO’s recommended treatment regimen comprises three drugs — dapsone, rifampicin and clofazimine — and the combination is referred to as multi-drug therapy or MDT.
WHO has been providing MDT free of cost.