India’s ambassador to Cairo has said that he had no information whether his country was in talks with Egypt over exporting the hepatitis C drug Sovaldi.
Navdeep Suri told Al-Masry Al-Youm that he had looked into reports revealing that Gilead, the US company that had invented the cure, gave the drug’s production franchise to seven Indian companies: Cadilla Healthcare ltd, Cipla ltd, Hetero Labs ltd, Milan Laboratories ltd, Ranbaxy Laboratories ltd, SeQuent Scientific ltd and Strides Arcolab ltd.
According to Suri, the deal between Gilead and the Indian manufacturers obviously reflects the companies’ capability to produce the drug with internationally competitive prices and to offer cheaper healthcare in developing countries such as Egypt and India.
Suri added that Egypt needs to facilitate the registration of Indian drugs so as to encourage Indian investors to operate in Egypt and secure healthcare with reasonable prices.
Egypt’s ministry of health has reportedly been disgruntled with delays by Gilead in delivering agreed-upon amounts of the drug. The company had offered to sell it to Egypt at a 99-percent discount
Egypt is known to have the highest rate of Hepatitis C infections in the world.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm