Islamabad - Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar on Wednesday announced sharp reduction in the prices of the drug for Hepatitis C patients, Sovaldi.

The current price of Rs 55,000 has been slashed and now the medicine would be available at Rs 32,300 per bottle. The ministry of national health services in view of the growing epidemic of Hepatitis C in the country moved quickly to register the drug last month and allowed its import into the country.

The measure will benefit over 10 million Hepatitis C patients across Pakistan and ministry of national health services is taking measures to ensure that adequate quantity of the drug is available to hepatitis C patients within 6 weeks.

This is a major relief for Hepatitis C patients. The same medicine is available at much higher price in other countries. In Egypt, the medicine is available for Rs 200,000 per bottle. In the USA, the same medicine is being sold at $26,600 per bottle (2,606,800 PKR).

The government has made special efforts to make Sovaldi available to patients in Pakistan in need of treatment. In the last few months, over 3,000 patients have begun receiving treatment on Sovaldi.

The reduction in price being announced Wednesday will allow even more patients to benefit from this breakthrough drug.

The minister has ordered strict vigilance to ensure that no illegal manufacturing of the miracle drug is carried out in the country.