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600,000 hepatitis C patients are treated with local drugs yearly

Wed, Nov. 15, 2017
CAIRO – 15 November 2017: An estimated 600,000 Egyptians will be treated from chronic hepatitis C this year using local medicines, Waheed Dous, director of the National Institute of Endemic and Liver Diseases said on Wednesday at a conference in Menoufia University.

Two out of the 5 million people infected with HCV in Egypt were cured in recent years, Dous said. “The National Committee for the Control of Viral Hepatitis originally planned to treat 300,000 patients with hepatitis C virus every year, but currently we manage to treat 600,000 patients yearly,” he added.

Dous said that “the local drugs that are used nowadays cure up to 98 percent of cases, and we do not need other new drugs, except in rare cases.”

On September 16, the Minister of Health and Population Ahmed Rady said, "Egypt will become free of HCV this year, and the cost of treatment is less than the American price by one in a thousand. Now we are searching for patients in villages and towns to give them free treatment.”

Since 2014, Egypt has increased the services provided to eliminate HCV following President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s initiative to treat 1 million HCV-infected patients annually. In 2014, a number of Egyptian companies started manufacturing local medications similar to Sovaldi to increase the chances of survival among infected patients by 90 percent.

Although some 399,000 people die each year from HCV, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 95 percent of patients are cured by anti-viral medicines.
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