Hepatitis C drug price reduced to $167

CAIRO: The price of imported regimen Daklinza, used to treat hepatits C, has been reduced to 1,314 EGP ($167) from 1,815 EGP at liver centers, head of the National Committee for Control of Viral Hepatitis (NCCVH) Waheed Dous told Youm7 Tuesday.

Daklinza is used with Sovaldi to reduce the treatment timeframe to between 3 and 6 months, and each bottle lasts for a month. The healing rate of the regimen is up to 97 percent, Dous said, adding that the price reduction is due to “high competition” between different regimens to treat the virus in Egypt.

Locally-made Daklinza costs 75 EGP at liver centers, while local Sovaldi costs 520 EGP after its cost was reduced at least three times over a few months.

Egypt no longer imports Sovaldi, but it still imports Olysio, the price of which was also reduced to 1,815 EGP from 1,315 EGP. The prices of the drugs are higher at privately-owned pharmacies.

Egypt embarked on a national plan in 2014 to treat hepatitis C, as the state has one of the highest infection rates of the disease in the world. It has treated some patients free of charge, and reduces the treatment prices for the general public.

NCCVH previously announced that around 157,000 patients had been treated using the Egyptian-made Sovaldi during 2015; thousands more are expected to be treated in 2016.

Approximately 10 percent of 90 million Egyptians suffer from Hepatitis C, with Egypt ranking fourth among countries with the highest rates of the liver infection, Shorouk newspaper reported executive director of NCCVH Qadri al-Saeed in December.

Additional reporting by Walid Abdel Salam

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