CAIRO — The Egyptian Health Ministry faces accusations by the Syndicate of Pharmacists, a number of pharmaceutical companies and medical professionals of exploiting Egyptians afflicted with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The patients allegedly have been used to test a new drug, Sovaldi.
Summary⎙ Print Egyptian pharmacists have accused the ministry of distributing an unapproved drug to hepatitis C patients and violating drug importation, registration and trade regulations.
A major dispute arose between the Syndicate of Pharmacists and the Egyptian Health Ministry, after it was revealed that the active ingredient in this drug has yet to be approved. Thousands of patients had applied to the ministry to obtain the drug, which was indeed provided to them by the ministry and distributed for sale in major pharmacies in Egypt. The ministry also faces charges of violating the terms of the importation, registration and trading of this drug.
Syndicate of Pharmacists spokesman Mohamed Saudi told Al-Monitor: “Experiments were conducted in the US on only 28 cases of patients with HCV genotype 4, and Egypt conducted experiments on only 100 cases. These numbers are statistically insufficient to use this drug on millions of patients with this type of hepatitis.”