Lilly has a long and pioneering legacy in the fight against infectious diseases with the development of several important antibiotics, including two medicines that have been found to be effective for the treatment of multi-drug resistant TB.  Since 2003, we have built on these accomplishments through the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership to reduce suffering due to TB and MDR-TB.

With a majority of cases occurring in China, India, Russia, and South Africa, the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership brings together government leaders, global health organizations, country-level healthcare providers, community and advocacy organizations and other stakeholders in these countries. We focus on two immediate and critical needs: improved and expanded training and support of healthcare providers, and adequate supply and access to quality-assured MDR-TB medicines. Our work involves piloting new models of care and healthcare provider training that, if proven to be effective, can be replicated in other communities.

To address longer-term needs, we also work with global and national partners to discover new medicines to treat MDR-TB.

Our work employs a fact-based approach that benefits healthcare providers and people at risk of MDR-TB. This operational framework includes three components:
Pilot new approaches to improve access to care and collect rigorous outcomes data

Transparently share data about what works - and what doesn’t - with governments, health experts, and others working in global health

Use evidence from our pilot projects to advocate for scale up of proven, cost-effective solutions for maximum benefit to people.

The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership is supported by the Lilly Foundation and United Way Worldwide.

History of the Partnership

Lilly originally developed and manufactured two antibiotics that were effective, as part of a full and appropriate drug regimen, against MDR-TB. Despite our product portfolio evolving more toward a focus on chronic diseases, we remained committed to needs of people at risk of MDR-TB.  So in 2003, to ensure a reliable supply of these medicines, we started the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership to transfer our technology and manufacturing know-how to pharmaceutical companies in China, India, Russia, and South Africa and elsewhere to ensure a sustainable supply, and to enable the production of these medicines close to where they were most needed. However, we soon learned that simply manufacturing quality assured medicines was not enough; we also needed to address issues such as access to medicines, training for healthcare providers, adherence to medication regimes, and stigma associated with MDR-TB.

In 2012, following an extensive consultation with partners and a shift in funding structure, the partnership sharpened its focus to two priority program elements and four countries. This new approach allows us to concentrate our collective resources on specific problems and ensure a deep, lasting positive impact. The partnership is now funded by the Lilly Foundation and United Way Worldwide.
Program Elements 2003-2011 (Phases 1&2)
Community support and patient advocacy
Treatment training and surveillance
Transferring manufacturing technology
Awareness and prevention
Program Elements 2012-2017 (Phase 3)
Healthcare provider training and support
Access to quality assured second-line medicines
In 2017, the Lilly Foundation plans to conclude its role in the Partnership. We are committed to sustainable solutions and, to this end, we are working with partners to identify, document and advocate for the replication and scaling of best practices to address MDR-TB.

Recognition of Lilly’s work in MDR-TB:

  • 2015 Russian Nurses Association award
  • 2015 Top 10 CSR Role Models in China recognition
  • 2015 Best Partnership Award by China Medical Assn TB Society
  • 2014 Best Partnership Award by China Medical Assn TB Society
  • 2013 Best Partnership Award by China Medical Assn TB Society
  • 2013 Best CSR Practice Award
  • 2011 Special Contribution Award by Chinese Ministry of Health
  • 2010 World Business and Development Award
  • 2010 Global Business Coalition Award for Business Excellence
  • 2009 XIII Codespa Award for work in developing countries
  • 2008 US Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center Best Partnership Award to Lilly and International Council of Nurses
  • 2008 Clinton Global Initiative Commitment Recognition
  • 2007 Global Business Coalition Award for Business Excellence