Barriers to accessibility to Antiviral treatment for Patients with Chronic Viral Hepatitis C in Egypt
Egypt has the highest burden of Hepatitis C Viral infection (HCV) in the world with 10% between 15- 60 years old having HCV antibodies and 7% having chronic HCV infection. HCV is more concentrated among rural, aged, less educated, and poor population groups in addition to patients who require frequent blood transfusion or on renal dialysis, and injection drug users. Despite advancement in antiviral treatments with higher than 90% sustained virologic response (efficacy), access remains limited. The government strategy tied expanding the access to antiviral treatment to a price reduction through subsidies, but an expansion of HCV treatment coverage was not observed. This suggests a broader range of barriers in addition to the financial affordability.