Malaysia Registers World’s First Affordable New Drug for Hepatitis c

World’s first affordable as well as effective new drug for hepatitis C has been registered by Malaysia. This new drug offers hope for accessible treatment to the millions of people around the world who are suffering from this disease.

Highlights

  • Hepatitis C has very few early symptoms, hence, making it very hard to diagnose and is said to be a silent killer.
  • The drug which has been named ravidasvir has been approved for use along with an existing drug named sofosbuvir, in the month of June.
  • This approval came five years after the Malaysian government had partnered with Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) to develop the drug.
  • According to the World Health Organization, around 71 million people globally are thought to be living with Hepatitis C which is a blood-borne virus that is one of the leading causes of liver cancer and can lead to cirrhosis.
  • Hepatitis C has no vaccine.
  • Hepatitis C medicines are very costly and are sometimes out of reach of the sufferers from the lower and middle income group countries.

Clinical trials

Clinical trials were conducted in Thailand and Malaysia.  300 people joined the clinical trial. One patent who was suffering from this disease, three months after he began the treatment, showed no trace of the virus. The ravidasvir plus sofosbuvir trial reports were published in the journal Lancet in the month of April. The reports showed that the drug combination is highly effective and cures patients in 97% of the cases.

Conclusion

Cheaper treatment of this disease is going to help the sufferers and the countries are also being encouraged to conduct more testing for hepatitis. The WHO plans to eliminate this disease by reducing new infections by 90% and deaths by 65 % by the year 2030.

 

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