Thursday, March 27, 2014

CAIRO:CPA warns of adulterated hepatitis C drugs

CPA warns of adulterated hep. C drugs

CAIRO: The Customer Protection Agency (CPA) warned Wednesday against buying adulterated drugs for hepatitis C virus (HCV) or liver disease, saying such drugs are not registered at the Ministry of Health.

The agency received complaints from patients about the HCV drug AFA-KLAMATH, which costs 1,300 to 2,100 EGP (U.S. $ 186 to 301), CPA chairperson Atef Yaqoub said in a press statement. The drug was falsely advertised on satellite channels as “a German product” and a “substance taken from a plant cell that looks like a human cell,” the Yaquob said.

In coordination with the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) of the Ministry of Health, the agency managed to seize nine bottles of the drug, as well as other illegal aphrodisiacs drugs and expired medicine in two pharmacies in Cairo and Giza, the statement said.

When asked if seizing the drugs came in framework of a campaign launched by the CPA, Amir Koumy, head of CPA branch in Cairo, told The Cairo Post that the agency moved after receiving patient complaints that the drug was ineffective.

Usually the CPA launches campaigns on specific products at time and is currently, for instance, conducting a campaign on plastics, Koumy added.

Around 18 million people are infected with HCV and 7.5 million have kidney failure in Egypt, according to statistics from institutes of live disease and kidney failure, Koumy noted.

WHO reports around 20 percent of Egyptian blood donors are infected with HPV, or “anti-HCV positive,” while around 150 million persons are infected worldwide.

Combating the false advertising of drugs, CPA established a year and half ago a media observer to keep an eye on advertisements in order to removed fraudulent drugs from the market, Koumy said.

Koumy said the government was planned to address the problem, and that ”there will be a meeting with the Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab within the coming ten days to discuss this issue,” he said.


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