Health Ministry aims to lower treatment cost for Hepatitis C

Noor Hisham (second left) with ambassador of Republic of Korea Dr Yu Hyun Seok (third left) witnessing the exchange of MoU between C&R Research Inc and Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) at Menara Melawang in Petaling Jaya. — Bernama photo

Noor Hisham (second left) with ambassador of Republic of Korea Dr Yu Hyun Seok (third left) witnessing the exchange of MoU between C&R Research Inc and Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) at Menara Melawang in Petaling Jaya. — Bernama photo

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry aims to lower the cost of treatment for Hepatitis C by year-end, says Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said the current cost of the entire treatment for Hepatitis C patients was ‘extremely high’.

“We hope by year-end, we are able to lower the cost from USD80,000 (RM355,660) to USD300 (RM1,335.62) for the treatment of Hepatitis C,” he added.

Dr Noor Hisham was speaking to reporters after witnessing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing between C&R Research Inc and Clinical Research Malaysia (CRM) at Menara Melawangi here yesterday.

CRM is a non-profit company under the ministry while C&R Research Inc is the largest contract research organisation (CRO) in South Korea.

Dr Noor Hisham said to achieve the targeted goals, the ministry had been collaborating with CRM and Drugs for Neglected Disease initiative (DNDi) to seek a better way to lower the cost of Hepatitis C treatment since last September.

DNDi is a collaborative, patient needs-driven, non-profit drug research and development organisation that is developing new teratments for neglected diseases.

According to the health director-general, the research was being carried out at six hospitals nationwide, namely the Selayang Hospital; Ampang Hospital; Sungai Buloh Hospital; Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Setar; Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital in Kuantan; and, University Malaya Medical Centre.

Dr Noor Hisham said the MoU could further improve CRM’s research. — Bernama

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