Modern chemotherapy has played a major role in our control of tuberculosis. Yet tuberculosis still remains a leading infectious disease worldwide, largely owing to persistence of tubercle bacillus and inadequacy of the current chemotherapy. The increasing emergence of drug-resistant tuberculosis along with the HIV pandemic threatens disease control and highlights both the need to understand how our current drugs work and the need to develop new and more effective drugs. This review provides a brief historical account of tuberculosis drugs, examines the problem of current chemotherapy, discusses the targets of current tuberculosis drugs, focuses on some promising new drug candidates, and proposes a range of novel drug targets for intervention. Finally, this review addresses the problem of conventional drug screens based on inhibition of replicating bacilli and the challenge to develop drugs that target nonreplicating persistent bacilli. A new generation of drugs that target persistent bacilli is needed for more effective treatment of tuberculosis.