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Egyptian Health Ministry accused of using unapproved drugs

Egyptian pharmacists have accused the ministry of distributing an unapproved drug to hepatitis C patients and violating drug importation, registration and trade regulations.
A pharmacy employee dumps pills into a pill counting machine as she fills a prescription while working at a pharmacy in New York December 23, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: HEALTH POLITICS) - RTR28BC5
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CAIRO — The Egyptian Health Ministry faces accusations by the Syndicate of Pharmacists, a number of pharmaceutical companies and medical professionals of exploiting Egyptians afflicted with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The patients allegedly have been used to test a new drug, Sovaldi.

A major dispute arose between the Syndicate of Pharmacists and the Egyptian Health Ministry, after it was revealed that the active ingredient in this drug has yet to be approved. Thousands of patients had applied to the ministry to obtain the drug, which was indeed provided to them by the ministry and distributed for sale in major pharmacies in Egypt. The ministry also faces charges of violating the terms of the importation, registration and trading of this drug.

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