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 or diabetes. This operational framework includes three components:

Research: Pilot new approaches to improve access to care and collect rigorous outcomes data

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

Advocate: 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.


Lilly collaborates with partners to improve outcomes for people with MDR-TB. Begun in 2003, the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership seeks to increase the access and availability of MDR-TB treatments, while also providing specialized training for healthcare professionals and raising awareness among people and communities at risk.

About one third of the world’s population is infected with the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB).
One in ten of these people will become sick with active TB.
MDR-TB can take up to two years to cure.
WHO estimated 450,000 cases of MDR-TB in 2012.
When TB becomes drug-resistant, treatment can cost USD 5,000 per patient or more and last up to 24 months.
By comparison, treatment of regular TB typically costs USD 16-35 per patient and lasts six to nine months.