CAIRO: The contract to sell the Solvadi treatment produced by American company Gilead to Egypt including providing Egypt with 225 thousand doses of the treatment as a first shipment for 450 million EGP ($63 million) was eventually signed, Minister of Health Adel el-Adway announced in a press conference on Tuesday, al-Shorouk reported.
Adawy said that the contract is exclusive to Egypt and that Egypt bought the treatment for one percent of its original international price. He also added that this will not be the last contract regarding treatments that prove their effectiveness and said that the door is widely open for Egyptian pharmaceutical companies to prove themselves and produce a 100 percent Egyptian drug and register it, al-Shorouk added.
The manufacturing company is entitled to provide the treatment to the 26 official drug outlets of the National Commission for hepatic viruses and the treatment would be available for those who are covered by health insurance and those who are not, al-Wafd reported Tuesday.
The procedure to register the treatment in the ministry of health and specify its price in the regular market is finished. The treatment will be available for patients in September, al-Wafd added.
A committee of 100 doctors will meet to decide who is entitled to treatment and what cases should be attended to first. The experiments held in Egypt on the Hepatitis C virus proved that the treatment cures the virus with a success rate of over 90 percent which is a good percentage, al-Wafd reported.
“This is a historic day for Egypt and patients with liver diseases,” the minister said at the conference according to Aswat Masreya. He also added that the original price of the treatment which lasts for three months costs 84 thousand USD and Egypt bought it for one percent of its original price, Aswat Masreya added.
Gregg Alton, the head of corporate and medical affairs at Gilead, said in a statement “We believe Sovaldi could have a major impact on public health in Egypt by significantly increasing the number of people who can be cured of hepatitis C,” according to Reuters on April 23, 2014.
On March 12, Minister of Health Adel Adawy declared in a statement that the negotiations between the ministry and the American company were successful and Egypt will obtain the drug for only 1 percent of its price, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Egypt tops the list of hepatitis C infection internationally and in the Arab world, infection rate in Egypt is about 14 percent of the population, said a member of the American Association of Liver Treatment, Dr. Ali Moanes told al-Shark al-Awsat newspaper on February 8, 2013.