Eighteen selected hospitals across the country have begun offering free Sofosbuvir-based direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapyto treat Hepatitis C since early this month, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
He said the first phase of the treatment was given to 2,000 chronic Hepatitis C patients out of the 23,000 patients registered to undergo the therapy.
Although the number was relatively small, he said the ministry was committed to increasing access to the therapy to more patients soon.
"The cost for the DAA therapy is also quite cheap, that is about RM1,000 per person compared to RM50,000 previously. In fact, it also has a cure rate of over 95%," he said.
Last September, Dr Subramaniam announced that the Cabinet had approved the use of Rights of Government under Patent Act 1983 (Act 291) by exploiting the patented invention of Sofosbuvir tablet 400mg, where the cost of treatment will be lower and more patients can be treated.