Tour n' Cure: medical campaign to eradicate hepatitis C

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Tour n' Cure: medical campaign to eradicate hepatitis C

Post by DJKeefy »

Tour n' Cure: Egypt launches medical tourism campaign to eradicate hepatitis C.

With the highest rate of hepatitis C globally, Egypt has developed an expertise in treating it. Now it is looking to share its know-how, as well as locally produced low-cost drugs, with foreigners having trouble getting treatment at home.

After launching an aggressive campaign to fight the debilitating hepatitis C virus domestically, Egypt launched a program to help the estimated 71 million people afflicted with the disease worldwide. In May, 2016 the country launched the Tour n’ Cure programme, which has been promoted by football celebrities Lionel Messi and Dani Alves. For €5,900 or $8,000, European patients can spend a week in Egypt and tour the country at the same time they receive treatment for the virus.

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“That includes everything flights, five-star accommodation, medical analysis, drugs,” said Mostafa El Sayed, managing director of Tour n' Cure. “It also includes three days of tourism.” Visitors can choose to spend their sightseeing days in Cairo, Luxor, or Sharm el-Sheikh.

Patients take the first few rounds of medication while in the country, then bring the remainder of the medication home with them. They do the final test with their local doctor to determine if they have been cured. If not, they will be treated again at no additional cost, but all of the roughly 200 foreigners who have taken part in the programme, so far, have had successful outcomes.

The weak spot in Tour n’ Cure, experts say, is not the treatment itself but rather that, firstly, a lot of people don’t see Egypt as a desirable vacation spot and, secondly, there are several reliable Indian pharmaceutical companies that not only manufacture the drugs but allow them to be ordered online.

“Tour n’ Cure is a bit weird in that it’s ‘come see the sites and get cured,’” said Charles Gore, president of the World Hepatitis Alliance. “Egypt is not the safest place, to be honest, at the moment. It’s an extremely illiberal regime.”

El Sayed said that the company realises that there are people who don’t want to travel to Egypt, so he set up a regional treatment hub in Moldova, which has already treated more than a dozen patients, and is looking at doing the same somewhere in Asia, likely Indonesia or Malaysia.

Sherine Helmy, CEO of Pharco, the company manufacturing the lion’s share of the generic drugs being used to treat the virus in Egypt, acknowledged that mail order is a good option for patients who don’t want to travel. He doesn’t see the companies providing that service as competitors, rather as fellow warriors in the fight to wipe out the virus.

“Last year we covered around 700,000 patients, but we are ready to produce in the millions,” he said. “Our plan is to cure 37 percent of patients worldwide by 2030.”

Shortcomings aside, the programme has been a lifesaver for people like documentary filmmaker and photographer Tim Coleman. He went through two unsuccessful rounds of interferon treatment in his native UK and had grown so weak from the disease that he could hardly work. Because of his previous failed treatments, he was low on the list to receive the drugs from the National Health Service, if he would have been able to get them at all. The only option available to him in England at that point was to pay the £120,000 the drugs cost in the UK.

“I had no energy, I had to get out of London and rest a lot,” the photographer and documentary filmmaker said. “I would go to Egypt to rest.”

It was during one of those visits that, while on an internal flight, Coleman saw an advertisement for Tour n’ Cure in the inflight magazine. He made the phone call as soon as he got to Cairo.

That was a year and a half ago. Today he is entirely virus free. “It is truly miraculous, what they’ve managed to do,” he said. “It’s such a success story. The whole thing is something the Egyptians can be really proud of.”

Source: ... epatitis-c


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Re: Tour n' Cure: medical campaign to eradicate hepatitis C

Post by newcastle »

I'm sorry but, if I had a chronic medical condition, treatment by Egyptian doctors, in Egyptian clinics, wouldn't be high on my list of options.

In fact, it wouldn't be on my list at all :stp

I'll give you that Egypt has a lot of experience in dealing with Hep C. They virtually created the problem in Egypt with dirty needles, infected blood transfusions and all round dodgy sterilization of equipment. Consequently Egypt has the highest rate of Hep C incidence in the world.

It's like going to the Democratic Republic of Congo to be treated for Ebola.

Egypt is positively anal (excuse the pun) about expelling any foreigner with HIV.

HCV can also be transmitted sexually.

Will they be quarantining sufferers at the tourist sites?

A weird idea. No surprise there then :urm:

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Re: Tour n' Cure: medical campaign to eradicate hepatitis C

Post by Major Thom »

Uhm!! whats going on at the Luxor International? Surgeons down from Cairo looking into the fact the hospital should not be be know or should not have been given International status, unqualified doctors on duty, when they are on duty the rest signing in and going home to sleep. Void of equipment in the emergency room, It seems like some one has tagged onto the Luxor bubble and is now bursting the ideals bit by bit, wonder what division is next? its taken some time though to realise the International is nothing more that a factory First Aid Room. I believe these surgeons have been give 3 months to report and try and get things right. Good Luck i three months, more like 30 years, to burst the Luxor Idylitus bubble.

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Re: Tour n' Cure: medical campaign to eradicate hepatitis C

Post by Hafiz »

The France24 story is garbage,

The whole HepC Egypt story is a tragedy and cover up in which few, if any, have been held accountable.

Its long and complicated but one small interesting fact is the rate of re-infection due to medical/nursing negligence or incompetence.

What is also clear is that there are no agreed facts.

The stats are not clear. The national body in Egypt, a NGO, says nearly 12 million are infected, the largest in the world and at a rate 5 times the rate in South East Asia based on random testing of 11,000 Egyptians. An international NGO agrees with this figure. ... gyHepC.pdf. Others say it is 9 or 10, the Government of Egypt says it is 6 million, but gives no details on how it arrived at this figure. ... g,-ch.aspx. Who knows. Al Ahram has even speculated in the past weeks it may be 15 million and a recent refereed article put it at 11.5 million. No one agrees with the government figures. Of those infected about 1/6th know they are.

After the initial outbreak there has was a near complete failure to control new infections by using cheap known systems. For example, an Egyptian NGO says new infections are 500,000 a year and that most of this comes from further incompetent medical and dental care. These are 2010 figures. The Financial Times says a more recent figure is only 150,000 new cases a year. The pharmaceutical company in Egypt (allegedly) making Hep-C drugs says its up to 200,000 per year. In Upper Egypt 1 in 4 persons has Hep C and in the delta about half of all males over 50 years (NYT article – see below). http://www The poor, rurals and older people are particularly affected. Middlle and upper class, city people are least affected. Who knows what the true figures are.

Local doctors, nurses and dentists are not responsible for all new infections because families sharing nail clippers or tooth brushes are also implicated. Barbers can also spread the disease. Distressingly it can be spread from mother to child but there has never been a targeting of previous treatment to child bearing age women. ... st.2015.15

Nevertheless, the role of the health professionals is clear from dialysis patients who test 50-90% Hep C positive and transfusion recipients 10-55%. There is clearly a problem with the health system and there is limited hard evidence that it is being fixed.

In the period to 2011, during which the country experienced relative prosperity, only 1.67% (some say 2.8%) of infected persons (using older drugs interferon and ribavirin with 50% efficacy) were treated (against a government target of 20%) and of this the Egyptian government contributed only 40% of the total budget. (madamasr article now blocked under Egyptian law). The fact that poor people outside Cairo and Alex were the most affected by the disease may not be irrelevant to the meager performance of the program.

The Government of Egypt now asserts that it treated 250,000 in 2015 and will quadruple this to treat a million in 2016. Who knows. Even government official statements are inconsistent because its 2014 plan (only an Executive Summary was ever released) Plan of Action for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis 2014-2018 stated that the 2015 figure would be 100,000 rising to a maximum of 300,000 in final years. ... _egypt.pdf

There is lots of the story that are confusing but the new Jewish drug - manufactured by a company with 2 Jewish Nobel prize winners as advisors - seems to be a key event in 2014. Its a breakthrough drug but Egypt is one of only 2 countries in the world to refuse to patent it even though the company offers a 99% price discount. At this point Indians get involved and it becomes a case of Egypt probably getting the Jew drug via the Indian back door - but its unclear.

Its got bizarre tourist/money making elements to it which highlight an Indian element.

Messi, the football player visited Egypt in March and was abused on Egyptian media by his personal guide Hawass as a ‘moron’ based on the sportsman’s lack of attention to the great man’s spiel. In typical fashion Hawass ignored ... wass-cairo
the fact that Messi was not in Egypt to promote the Pyramids or listen to Hawass he was here to promote a new Egyptian cure for Hep C called Tour n Cure.

The visit was part of a program paid for by the Egyptian taxpayer to: “Messi visited Egypt under his new role as ambassador for the Tour n’ Cure campaign to promote the country as a medical tourism destination for Hepatitis C patients.”

The Egyptian pharmaceutical company, Pharco, behind the stunt, states they have a new cure, that Egypt discovered it and is currently manufacturing it and will soon export it. Really.

Tour n Cure seems to be a joint tourist venture between Pharco of Egypt and Prime Pharma of Mumbai, a manufacturer of low rent generics and not previously in the tourist business. I also think its not in the Hep C business. Dani Alves, a Brazilian footballer, and Ahmed Hossam Hussein Abdelhamid, publicly known as Mido, an Egyptian football manager are also promoters. Obviously promotion to women is not an issue.

Pharco makes ‘out of patent’ very basic generics and gelatin capsules and its web-site makes much of the number of cars it has in its sales fleet. It also owns a business, probably just distribution, in Romania, that also has a lot of cars. If it’s ever done any research and development on anything, let alone virology, then it’s kept it very quiet. It’s also a major manufacturer of ‘alternative’ and so-called natural medicines which says a lot about its scientific research credentials.

Other reports refer to its: ‘pioneering initiatives” ... px?eid=341

Its website makes the following claims:

1. It started ‘researching a cure for virus c’ (sic) subsequently validated for Pharco by an unnamed Italian firm.
2. ‘completed the largest Phase IIIb clinical trial on Genotype 4 HCV (the dominant type of Hep C in Egypt) Egyptian patients which was published and admired in the annual conferences of the most reputable worldwide liver associations’. ( I do not think this is a true statement and this company has absolutely no track record in science/discovery/trials/publications)
3. ‘Pharco established the first GMP Compliant Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) factory in Egypt specialized in manufacturing affordable and effective HCV drugs.’
4. It is supplying this world beating drug at cost and making no money from it whilst ‘fully committed to the Presidential Program (Egypt free of virus C)’ and providing 8 mobile treatment vans to the government free of cost.

They also make claims that it will export its drug as the cheapest in the world.

Could it get any better? This is a better story than the ‘Army Cure’. Pardon me if I don't believe it.

Its a mess and relying on an Egyptian amateur hour company won't fix it. Get the Jew drug (invented by an expatriate Egyptian Jew), get the 99% price discount and find a competent person to run the program. Otherwise millions will continue to die.

Focusing on Health Tourism for HepC just avoids the obvious - 12 million Egyptians have it and they are the people who need help. Westerners can get treated in their own country with the new drug - with the cost subsidized by their governments. The idiot westerner in the France24 article doesn't only have HepC - he has psychosis - and missed the obvious treatment to his disease which was 2 k's from his home at his local clinic or hospital and came to Egypt to be treated by a drug produced by a joke of a firm backed by no independent research and no published trials/refereed articles. The Egypt drug (if it exists) is not licensed/approved/patented anywhere else in the world. I wonder what the westerner got paid to say this drivel.

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Re: Tour n' Cure: medical campaign to eradicate hepatitis C

Post by Who2 »

Wow! I never knew that, quite fascinating if one can be bothered to read it all.
I'm sure HepC is linked to McD burgers.... 8)
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