Gilead offers new hepatitis C drug at 99% discount in September
Health Minister Adel al-Adawy - YOUM7 (Archive)
By AYA IBRAHIM

CAIRO: The government agreed Wednesday to sign a memo of understanding with Gilead Sciences company, to provide its new hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi to Egypt at a 99 percent discount to its original price, Youm7 reported.

The registration procedures of the drug will be finalized soon and the drug will be available in Egypt in early September, Health Minister Adel al-Adawy said.

“Egypt has the highest prevalence rate of hepatitis C in the world and Solvadi be sold there for 2,200 EGP per packet,” Adawy said.

The new treatment is effective in 90 percent of cases, and patients will be treated at the expense of the state, he added.

Sovaldi was introduced to Egypt earlier this year but the company which produces it was criticized over the drug’s prohibitively high price of $900 for a 12-week course of treatment. However, the company offered to supply the therapy for 99 percent discount.

In February, The Armed Forces Engineering Authority announced it had developed a cure for the disease, but has not produced details of the treatment. Wide-scale treatement of the military-developed cure was scheduled to begin by June 30, But head of the medical department in the Armed Forces, Major General Gamal al-Sirafi announced in a press conference on June 28 that the device to cure Hepatitis C is not yet ready.

“Scientific integrity obliges us to postpone using the CC device until the trial period for patients who are currently receiving the cure via the device is over,” al-Serafi stressed.

In March,  the inventor of the Complete Cure (CC) device, Major General Ibrahim Abdel Aty  told CNN that doubts surrounding the effectiveness of his invention were “destructive” claiming to have achieved “what many of his detractors failed to do.”

Gilead Company plans to supply medicine to Egypt at a 99 percent discount from its original price in the U.S., it announced on March 21. “We believe Sovaldi could have major impact on public health in Egypt by significantly increasing the number of people who can be cured of hepatitis C,” head of corporate and medical affairs at Gilead Gregg Alton said, according to REUTERS.

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