$300 vs. $80,000: Low-cost cure for hepatitis C in the works

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$300 vs. $80,000: Low-cost cure for hepatitis C in the works

A non-profit is developing a much less expensive hepatitis C treatment.

A non-profit group is working to develop an affordable treatment for hepatitis C that will cost less than US$300 per patient – a tiny fraction of the $80,000 price tag currently charged by big drug makers to treat the liver infection.

DNDi, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, is working with Egyptian drug maker Pharco Pharmaceuticals to test a new drug called ravidasvir in combination with the older drug sofosbuvir, in Malaysia and Thailand.

If testing shows the drug is effective in many types of hep C patients, the drug combo could become an affordable way to treat the liver infection in low- and middle-income countries – and perhaps one day in higher income countries such as Canada.

Pharco has agreed to supply DNDi with the drug combination for clinical study for only $300 per treatment course. That’s a lot less than the prices charged by U.S. drug makers Gilead, AbbVie and Merck for their hep C treatments.

“If our clinical trials are successful, this regimen could become part of a public health approach to treating hepatitis C that will be an alternative to today’s high drug prices and treatment rationing,” said Dr. Bernard Pécoul, the executive director of DNDi, which was founded in part by Medicins Sans Frontieres to help develop affordable treatments for neglected diseases.

“An affordable cure for this deadly disease that treats all strains, or ‘genotypes,’ of the disease, is essential to tackling the worldwide hepatitis C epidemic.”

Read Full Article: $300 vs. $80,000: Low-cost cure for hepatitis C in the works | CTV News


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