"I didn’t feel anything in my body, but my heart! I’ve got hepatitis, oh my God, what about my kids, because my youngest one is just 5 years old."


Jhuvi, a hepatitis C patient, on her balcony, Malaysia

Jhuvi, a 39-year-old Malaysian businesswoman and mother of five children, learned that she had hepatitis C after donating blood. She believes that she contracted the disease when she got a tattoo while on vacation.

Jhuvi is now benefiting from treatment provided by the Malaysian Ministry of Health, thanks to the government’s landmark decision to issue a “government use” licence to secure access to affordable treatment for hepatitis C.

Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) have revolutionized the therapeutic landscape. With cure rates of 95%, these 8-to-12-week oral treatments have replaced less effective, injection-based 48-week regimens associated with side effects.

However, their price is a major barrier to access, even in high-income countries, so treatment rationing is common. Prices are also too high for countries to implement strategies that seek to identify asymptomatic people living with HCV, and “test-and-treat” strategies that could lead towards elimination.

A simple (i.e. that works for all patients, including those who are also living with HIV or inject drugs), pan-genotypic (i.e. effective for all genotypes), and affordable treatment would benefit many, particularly in countries unable to access generic HCV treatments.

Together with Egyptian manufacturer Pharco, DNDi has partnered with the Malaysian and Thai governments to test an affordable pan-genotypic combination therapy containing the drug candidate ravidasvir. Interim results released in April 2018 show a 97% cure rate, and promising results even in the hardest-to- treat cases.

  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is transmitted through exposure to infected blood
  • 55-85% of patients develop chronic infection, and of these, 15-30% are at risk of cirrhosis of the liver within 20 years
  • HCV has six genotypes (GT), with GT1 most prevalent in the US, for example, and GT6 in South-East Asia
  • Effective medicines are available, but their extremely high cost means that only 13% of HCV patients globally have had access to treatment


people have chronic HCV infection


people newly infected every year


of people living with HCV are in low- and middle-income countries


HCV-related deaths each year

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