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Generic & Made in Pakistan Pegylated Interferon
 
 
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Pakistan Pegylated Interferon, Hepatitis drug prices may drop as much as 40%
 
KARACHI: Getz Pharma launched a drug for the treatment of hepatitis in Pakistan on Saturday and its manufacturing will be 40 per cent cheaper than imports, according to executives of the company.
 
The director marketing and sales of the local pharmaceutical company, Shahzad Khan, said this at the launch ceremony of the product here.
 
Director General Health of Pakistan Rashid Jooma is convinced that hepatitis is one of the greatest threats to public health and explained that considering the magnitude of the threat the government wants the private sector's continued support.
 
Research done by the Pakistan Medical Research Council in 2009 showed that the prevalence of hepatitis C was 4.9 per cent in Pakistan, with Punjab being the most affected with 6.7 per cent followed by Sindh at five per cent. "Getz Pharma eyes more export markets around the world and its present share in Pakistan's medicine exports is 40 per cent covering 20 countries," said the CEO of Getz, Khalid Mahmood, while talking to The Express Tribune.
 
The Minister of Health Makhdoom Shahabuddin was unable to grace the occasion owing to his responsibilities in coping with the current floods. However, he sent a message stating that it was important for the country to produce such medicines locally, particularly when the prevalence of Hepatitis C was increasing in the country and taking a huge toll on lives.
 
Federal Secretary Health Khushnood Akhtar Lashari, in his message said the manufacturing of Pegylated Interferon in Pakistan; an essential drug for the treatment of Hepatitis C, was a good omen. He hopes that the production of drug within the country will help bring down the cost of treatment by a substantial amount.
 
In 1999, the World Health Organisation estimated a global prevalence of about 3 percent with the virus affecting 170 million people worldwide. The figure has now crossed 250 million.
 
The private sector is being encouraged to introduce low-cost medicines in the country and ambitious hepatitis programmes are being funded by the government, according to Jooma.
 
Looking at the public health issues in country, I would like to ask Getz Pharma to keep introducing hepatitis related drugs in the country which will reduce the problems of common man, Jooma added.
 
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2010.
 
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Production of medicine for Hepatitis C starts
 
Amanullah Khan
 
Karachi—Minister of Health Makhdoom Shahabuddin lauded the initiative taken by Getz Pharma to produce Pegylated Interferon locally as it is a service to those suffering from the Hepatitis C virus. In a message sent to Getz at the launching of Pegylated Interferon production in Pakistan, the minister who was supposed to attend the ceremony but was held back because urgent issues related to floods were to be managed. However DG Health Prof. Dr. Rashid Jooma inaugurated the ceremony.
 
Makhdoom Shahabuddin said it is important for the country to produce such medicines locally, particularly when the prevalence of Hepatitis C virus is increasing in the country and taking a huge toll. "The present government is committed to help and encourage all such efforts which are directed to provide better and affordable treatment to the people of Pakistan," he added.
 
Federal Secretary Health Mr Khushnood Akhtar Lashari, in his message, felicitated Getz Pharma for manufacturing Pegylated Interferon in Pakistan, which is an essential drug for the treatment of Hepatitis C. He hoped that the production of Interferon within the country will undoubtedly help in bringing down substantially the cost of treatment. Director General Health Prof. Dr. Rashid Jooma in his address to the gathering of select doctors, guests and Getz employees underlined that "as we are aware Hepatitis C virus continues to be a major global threat. In 1999, the World Health Organization estimated a global prevalence of about 3 percent with the virus affecting 170 million people worldwide. The figure has now crossed 250 million." "In a research done by the Pakistan Medical Research Council in 2009," he revealed," the prevalence of Hepatitis C figure was 4.9 percent in Pakistan, with Punjab being more affected at 6.7 percent than other provinces, followed by Sindh at 5.0 percent."
 
Welcoming the guests Getz Pharma Managing Director Mr. Khalid Mahmood said that he appreciated the support of the MoH for the healthcare sector and said that it bodes well for industrial progress and their efforts to eradicate Hepatitis C from Pakistan.
 
He highlighted that Getz Pharma is a research-oriented pharmaceutical and bio-technology company. The first biotechnology product, Recombinant Human Insulin (Insuget), was developed in 2007-2008 and was launched in the first quarter of 2009. Mr. Mahmood maintained that Getz's second biotechnology product, Pegylated Interferon alfa-2a (Unipeg) is a superior bio-similar which was developed and tested in Europe, through a technology transfer arrangement, and is now being produced at Getz Pharma's state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.
 
 
 
 
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