Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has allowed generic drug makers (replacements) to manufacture their anti-COVID-19 tablets and ship them to low- and middle-income countries, a statement said on Tuesday.
The drug against COVID-19 will be available to 95 low and middle-income countries thanks to an agreement with the international public health group Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), the Reuters agency reported on Tuesday. The drug will be marketed as paxlovid.
According to the American company that cites clinical trials, the tablet reduces by 89 percent the risk of hospitalization or death of adults particularly at risk of coronavirus. The medicine is to be used together with ritonavir, used to fight HIV, which has also recently become available as a generic medicine.
At the end of October, another pharmaceutical concern Merck & Co. reported that it had signed a similar agreement with Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). It will allow a license to manufacture molnupiravir, an oral drug against COVID-19, to be made available to other manufacturers.
“We are delighted to have another weapon to fight COVID-19,” said Charles Gore, MPP Executive Director. I hope that a generic (replacement) version of Pfizer will be available in the coming months, he added.
Substitute drug for poorer countries
In 95 countries where a cheaper alternative will be available, 53 percent of the world’s population lives, the MPP reported.
“We believe that oral antiviral drugs will play a key role in reducing serious COVID-19 cases … We need to work on this so that all people, no matter where they live or what situation they are in, can be provide access to these breakthroughs, said Albert Bourla, Pfizer executive director, in a statement.
The tablets will facilitate the treatment of COVID-19, among other things because they are easier to manufacture and do not need to be kept refrigerated, such as in vaccines. In addition, patients can use them freely at home, emphasized the French agency.
Main photo source: Reuters