The hepatitis C virus is blood borne. The most common modes of infection are through unsafe injection practices, inadequate sterilization of medical equipment, and the transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products.
Globally, between 130 –150 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection.
Approximately 700 000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver diseases.
In Egypt, between 8 –12 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection. They increase between 170 – 200 thousands per year.
The treatment options that used to be available before the emergence of Directly Acting Antivirals (DAAs) were of high price, poor response rate, and inconvenient dosage form (injection) with severe side effects causing non-compliance and early discontinuation of treatment.
Due to the lack of global access to affordable and effective DAAs, and due to the fact that Egypt has the highest prevalence rate of HCV patients worldwide, Pharco decided to aggressively address this national security issue.
Photo credit The Guardian
In its pursuit to conquer HCV. Pharco started researching a cure for virus C, completed the largest Phase IIIb clinical trial on Genotype 4 HCV Egyptian patients which was published and admired in the annual conferences of the most reputable worldwide liver associations (AASLD Nov 2015, CROI Feb 2016& EASL April 2016), contracted an Italian research and development expert laboratory to manufacture an affordable HCV treatment on which a bioequivalence study was performed based on WHO guidelines that proved bioequivalence with the unaffordable innovator, and collaborated with DNDi (Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative) to perform clinical trials on all HCV Genotypes in Malaysia, Thailand, South Africa, and Ukraine.
To safeguard a continuous supply of raw materials of HCV treatments. Pharco established the first GMP Compliant Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) factory in Egypt specialized in manufacturing affordable and effective HCV drugs.
Based on the above achievements, Pharco started the below initiatives:
Locally: Pharco is fully committed to the Presidential Program (Egypt free of virus C) by delivering all treatment requirements at lowest possible cost. Pharco focused on the importance of awareness, reaching millions of Egyptians every month through a dedicated social media campaign. Pharco partnered with all major healthcare NGOs, partnered with Tahya Masr to supply medications at cost, and supplied 8 state of the art mobile clinics. The result was Egypt celebrating the treatment of 870,000 patients, and the official finalization of Ministry of Health Virus C waiting lists.
Globally: Pharco partnered with Prime Pharma to initiate Tour n Cure, an international program for medical tourism. The program encourages patients worldwide to visit Egypt for a week to do all needed medical check-ups, have the treatment coarse as prescribed by the best doctors, and enjoy the beauty of Egypt, at less than 80% of the worldwide cost. Lionel Messi, Dani Alves, and Ahmed Hossam (Mido) are currently active program ambassadors.