For Immediate Release
December 8, 2011

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

KDHE Receives New CDC Recommendations for TB Treatment

New regimen effective at preventing future TB cases

Topeka—The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has received new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the use of a new treatment regimen for tuberculosis (TB) infection.

The CDC’s release can be found at www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/Newsroom/LatentTBPressRelease.html and their fact sheet is attached.

This new regimen, referred to as the 12-dose regimen, represents a major advancement in preventing future cases of TB disease and puts us closer to our goal of TB elimination. The 12-dose regimen is a combination regimen of isoniazid and rifapentine given in 12 once-weekly doses under directly observed therapy (DOT).

On average, approximately 2,000 people are diagnosed each year in Kansas with TB infection. If left untreated, there is a 5 to 10 percent chance that the infection could develop into TB disease.

“Treating TB infection to prevent progression to TB disease is a cornerstone of the Kansas strategy for TB elimination,” explained Phil Griffin, Director of TB Control and Prevention. “It’s important that those infected receive adequate care.”

KDHE’s TB Control and Prevention Program is rapidly reviewing the new guidance and developing state guidance and policies for the use of this new regimen. Currently, there is not an adequate supply of Refapentine on the market, which will slow the ability of the Kansas TB Control and Prevention Program’s efforts to implement this new regimen. The state is working closely with the CDC and our medication supply outlet to monitor progress for the availability of the medication.

Questions about the new regimen should be addressed to Phil Griffin. He can be reached by calling (785)408-4950 or emailing him at pgriffin@kdheks.gov.