By Rana Yehia
Indian company Pharmed Healthcare, a joint Hetero group venture, inaugurated in Egypt Sunday a factory for producing a drug called “Sofosbuvir”, in the presence of Minister of Health Adel Al-Adawy.
The drug has the same ingredients and raw materials as “Sovaldi”, which is used as a treatment for Hepatitis C.
Pharmed Healthcare obtained the licence to produce and market the medicine from US company Gilead, which invented the drug, so it can be produced in Egypt, said Chairman and Managing Director of Pharmed Healthcare Dr. B.P.S Reddy.
“The Pharmaceutical industry is one of the most important national industries in Egypt that we are seeking to promote. We are keen to provide medicines to citizens at affordable prices, with a plan to eliminate Hepatitis C in Egypt,” Al-Adawy said. He added that his attendance is to support Egyptian-Indian cooperation.
“This is the first investment by the company in Egypt, pumping EGP 250m, and we are targeting to increase investments to reach EGP 1bn during two years,” Reddy told Daily News Egypt.
Pharmed owns 30 factories worldwide, with the new Egyptian factory set to extend to four production lines soon, up from the current two. Reddy noted the Egyptian factory will provide the medicine to 1m patient per year.
The price of the medicine in the US reaches $80,000 for one treatment course, whereas the price in Egypt will be only $1,000, or EGP 2,670 for the pack. The factory will start production this month targeting only local supply for hospitals and pharmacies with no intention for exportation, Reddy added.
The Indian pharmaceutical sector provides 12% of drugs worldwide with 500 companies registered with the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). They provide the best quality but at reasonable prices, Deputy Chief of Mission at Embassy of India Vishvas Sapkal told Daily News Egypt.
Sapkal added that Indian investments in Egypt have reached $ 2.5bn in several sectors, with 50 companies investing in and providing 35,000 direct employments.