Improving Access to Hepatitis Treatment in Egypt

A differential pricing initiative for greater access to Hepatitis treatment in the Egyptian public sector.
Hospitals Health Facilities 1
Government 1

This initiative aims to increase access to Hepatitis C treatment in Egypt.

What are the health needs and challenges?

Egypt has one of the highest burdens of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the world, with a 10% prevalence of chronic HCV infection among persons aged 15–59 years.

Of the 84 million people in Egypt, around 15% are infected with the Hepatitis C virus and with an additional 165,000 new infections per year, this represents a major threat to public health. This leads to a high mortality from chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer. Affordability of treatment is a significant problem. Due to budget constraints, the Egyptian government was unable to treat all patients with pegylated interferon, Roche’s primary treatment for HCV.

Partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

In 2006 Roche started working with the Egyptian government to establish a national project for treating chronic Hepatitis C.

Part of the project included packaging Pegasys locally in a different form (vial vs. a pre-filled syringe) and under a different trade name (Pegferon vs. Pegasys). This allowed for the introduction of differential pricing within Egypt, with Pegferon available at a significantly reduced price to the government, compared to the form sold in the private sector under the Pegasys brand.

In addition, Roche partnered with a local manufacturer in Egypt to package and distribute the Pegferon. This involved sharing manufacturing and supply chain management practices, thereby building local capabilities and expertise and generating local employment.

Roche also offers products for diagnosis and treatment monitoring along with awareness programs, helping to maximise medical service and patient benefit.

Results and milestones

Since the project launched in 2006, more than 160,000 patients have been treated with Pegferon.

Geographic Reach
  • Africa
  • Eastern Mediterranean
See Where
Disease Area
  • Infectious and Parasitic Disease
See Disease Areas
Target Population
  • People with low incomes
SGDs the partnership contributes to
SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing
  1. 3.3: Communicable Diseases & NTDs
  2. 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals 
Partner organizations
Hospitals Health Facilities

Egyptian Liver Research Institute and Hospital


Ministry of Health Egypt

Additional information