Egypt's Sisi wants 1mn Hepatitis C doses from drug companies

Ahram Online , Tuesday 12 May 2015

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi addressed "virus C drug companies" asking them to reduce their prices for Egyptians, already at one percent of original cost

Sovaldi Product Photo (Reuters)

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi proposed on Tuesday a new deal to buy one million doses of treatment annually from "virus C drug companies" at a reduced price to treat the disease that is endemic in the country.

Last year, Egypt's health ministry brokered a deal with US biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences to import a drug, commercially known as Sovaldi, to cure hepatitis C at a cost of $900, down from its cost in the US of $84,000 for a three-month treatment.

Some 15 million Egyptians, 22 per cent of the population, suffer from Hepatitis C - the highest prevalence of the virus in the world - according to the World Health Organization.

El-Sisi, in a televised monthly speech, said the deal with the companies would be in addition to the already existing agreement with the health ministry.

The president said that if the deal is brokered, the highest proportion of the drugs would go to youth suffering from the virus.

Egypt's government devised an online registration system for patients to register for the treatment. Priority has been given to those with higher levels of liver deterioration.

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