CAIRO: The government will propose a public tender for distribution companies to buy the local-made Hepatitis C medicine Harvoni within 10 days, Youm7 reported Sunday.
Health Minister Ahmed Emad el-Din announced Sunday said that of the competing companies, two will be assigned to distribute the Egyptian Harvoni to liver treatment centers.
Egypt has recently halted the import of several U.S. Hep C medicines, and began manufacturing domestic versions at reduced prices.
During 2015, around 157,000 patients were treated using the Egyptian-made Sovaldi, the National Committee for Control of Viral Hepatitis (NCCVH)previously announced.
On Thursday, the ministry announced a reduction in the price of the imported Harvoni at privately-owned pharmacies to 5,000 EGP ($638) instead of 19,900 EGP. The local Harvoni costs 1,100 EGP at pharmacies.
A treatment course of three months using Harvoni would cost the patient around 9,150 EGP, according to an info graph on Youm7 displaying prices of Hep C medicines.
Egyptian Sovaldi is now available for 520 EGP/bottle at liver centers, and 900 EGP at pharmacies. A bottle of Sovaldi is consumed over one month.
The price of Daklinza at liver centers was reduced to 71 EGP per bottle, and 200 EGP at pharmacies, while the imported bottles are available at 1,315 EGP.
As various medicines curing the disease were made available at markets, the government is aiming to treat some 500,000 Hep C patients in 2016 by using the local versions.
Having one of the highest infection rates of hepatitis C infection in the world, Egypt started in 2014 a treatment regimen based on imported medications that have proved a breakthrough in treating the virus.