270K bottles of local Hep C medicines to be shipped to liver centers

CAIRO: Some 270,000 bottles of locally-made medicines to cure Hepatitis C, Sovaldi and Daklinza, will be delivered “soon” to liver treatment and health insurance centers, head of the National Committee for Control of Viral Hepatitis (NCCVH) Waheed Dous told Youm7 Thursday.

Dous said that a general tender was established to provide the Ministry of Health with Hepatitis “B” medicines, to start treating patients at liver centers and via the state’s insurance system within a period of two months.

Egypt recently stopped of importing Hep C medicines it began purchasing in 2014, and instead has replaced the medications with domestically produced versions of the same regimens at lower prices.

Daklinza is used with Sovaldi to reduce the treatment timeframe to between 3 and 6 months, and each bottle lasts for a month.

The ministry still has stock of imported batches that it distributes at liver centers with reduced prices; imported Daklinza was reduced to 1,314 EGP ($167) from 1,815 EGP.

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

Egypt 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.

Gamal Essmat, member of NCCVH, told Youm7 Thursday that the ministry plans to shorten the treatment timeframe to only eight weeks by using a mixture of Sovaldi and Olysio, on condition the patient does not suffer liver fibrosis or has primarily treated by Interferon.

The new mixture regimen has been tested on 60 patients, most of whom completely recovered, Essmat said.

He said that the new medicines pumped into the markets have a time frame of around 12 weeks, and it might increase according to the patient’s case.


Additional reporting by Waleed Abdel Salam

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