A for-profit pharmaceutical company sells a hepatitis C cure for $84,000 in the United States, which means that the average person cannot afford it and international the cost of the treatment is out of reach. Globally hepatitis C causes 400,000 deaths a year and affects 71 million people. Pharmaceutical companies claim the high price of their drugs is due to research and development (they spend more on advertising than research), yet non-profits can do similar research for a lot cheaper. Maybe we should only buy medical drugs from non-profits.
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), a not-for-profit organisation, is working with the Egyptian drugmaker Pharco Pharmaceuticals to bring a combination treatment of two hepatitis C tablets, ravidasvir (a new drug) and sofosbuvir, to countries that cannot afford to pay the high prices charged by US companies Gilead and AbbVie. This is taking longer than expected but has moved a big step closer with the latest results.
The medicine has also been tested on 300 patients in Egypt, who have different genetic characteristics, with a 100% cure rate. Further studies are being carried out in South Africa and Ukraine to cover all six genotypes of the disease.