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Ethical issues in adapting new technologies for rapid diagnosis

Richard A Cash

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2013.077


The Xpert® MTB/RIF (hereafter Xpert) is a recent technology that has “demonstrated sensitive detection of tuberculosis (TB) and rifampicin resistance directly from untreated sputum in less than two hours” . Many are in favour of the widespread implementation of this technology in India. In a recent article in the IJME, Singh, Bhan and Upshur state that “India is ethically obliged to phase in the nationwide deployment of Xpert…as soon as reasonably possible” and “is ethically obliged to provide those diagnosed with first-line drug resistance universal access to second-line TB drugs” to treat multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) .

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