CAIRO: The military’s “invention” of the Complete Cure Device (CCD), which was announced early last week and is supposedly able to diagnose and treat hepatitis C and AIDS, has stirred unending controversy in the Egyptian media and public.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, a non-governmental organization, issued a statement Sunday stating that the country has to put active policies in place to limit the disease that nearly 14.7 percent of Egyptians are infected with.
EIPR said a team of specialists in general health and medicine met with a team from the international medicine company Gilead, which discovered a therapeutic called “Sofosbuvir” that treats people who are infected with hepatitis C.
EIPR said that if the country was able to produce the medicine or provide it at a suitable price it would help fight the high rate of infection in Egypt.
Gilead’s delegation in Egypt asked to meet with EIPR after a meeting with the World Community Advisory Board of Hepatitis C and 38 representatives from 22 countries last week in Bangkok. At the end of its meeting, the board invited six major medicine companies to produce the treatment, but the companies refused to price such a medicine at a low rate in order to allow developing countries to purchase it.
The EIPR warned that the government should not accept an offer from the company that gives Egypt a license to produce an alternative medicine or to export it with high prices that low-income people cannot afford.
According to experts in the medical industry, the whole course of the treatment will not surpass $250, but the production company said it would cost $3,600. The EIPR said the greed of the medicine company will prevent many people from obtaining the treatment, adding that Egypt should work with other countries that have large percentages of hepatitis C, like China, India, Pakistan and Indonesia, to reach a fair agreement that would provide people with the treatment.
On the other hand, the dean of the National Liver Institute, Waheed Dous, said Sunday that a new treatment for hepatitis C will be announced within the next two days.
“After registering the treatment in Ministry of Health, it would be available for the people next June with a suitable price,” said Dous.