Pfizer allows other companies to make their own tablets and waives royalties

Pfizer has signed an agreement with a UN-backed group of companies to authorize its new drug, Paxlovid, for the treatment of coronavirus, which studies have shown reduces the risk of death and hospitalization by 89%.

The pharmaceutical giant reports ABC News, announced the granting of a license for the production of antiviral tablets to the Geneva Medicines Patent Pool. Such a decision will make treatment for coronavirus affordable for more than half of the world’s population. Pharmaceutical companies will be able to manufacture the drug for use in at least 95 countries. That is, they will provide 53% of the world’s population. Esteban Burrone, Head of Policy at the Patent Pool, says:

“It is very important that we can provide access to a drug that appears to be effective and has just been developed for more than 4 billion people.”

Burrone estimates the companies will be able to start producing tablets within a few months. However, some countries are excluded from the deal. For example, in Brazil, a pharmaceutical company can produce tablets for export (under license), but not as generics for domestic use in the country. The same goes for China, Thailand and Argentina.

The terms of this agreement mean that Pfizer will not receive royalties for the sale of the drug in low-income countries. The company will also ditch such financial sales proceeds in all states covered by the agreement while the coronavirus creates a public health emergency.

Pharmaceutical giant presented its drug for the treatment of coronavirus Merck (USA), the company promises to make it accessible to rich and poor countries while ensuring simultaneous supply. The European Medicines Agency has begun the process of evaluating the Covid-19 antiviral drug and is trying to speed it up. The UK approved its use last Thursday and became the first country in the world to recommend Merck tablets for the treatment of coronavirus.

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