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Pfizer inks deal to allow other companies make and sell its COVID-19 pill in 95 countries

In a statement issued Tuesday, Pfizer said it would grant a license for the antiviral pill to the Geneva-based Medicines Patent Pool, which would let generic drug companies produce the pill for use in 95 countries, making up about 53% of the world’s population.
 

Pfizer inks deal to allow other companies make and sell its COVID-19 pill in 95 countries-dnm
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New York, First Published Nov 16, 2021, 7:15 PM IST
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Drugmaker Pfizer Inc announced a deal on Tuesday that it will allow its Covid-19 treatment antiviral pill to 95 low- and middle-income countries. This means that it will allow generic manufacturers to make and sell its experimental antiviral Covid-19 pill inexpensively in 95 poorer nations. The deal was signed  with a UN-backed group through a licensing agreement with international public health group Medicines Patent Pool (MPP).

In a statement issued Tuesday, Pfizer said it would grant a license for the antiviral pill to the Geneva-based Medicines Patent Pool, which would let generic drug companies produce the pill for use in 95 countries, making up about 53% of the world’s population.

The voluntary licensing agreement between Pfizer and the MPP will allow the United Nations-backed group to grant sub-licenses to qualified generic drug manufacturers to make their own versions of PF-07321332. Pfizer will sell the pills it manufactures under the brand name Paxlovid, Reuters reported.

Also read: Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine more than 90% effective in kids

Pfizer, which also makes one of the most widely used Covid-19 vaccines, has said the pill cut the chance of hospitalization or death for adults at risk of severe disease by 89% in its clinical trial. The drug will be used in combination with ritonavir, an HIV drug that is already available generically.

The agreement follows a similar arrangement negotiated by Merck last month, and together the deals have the potential to vastly expand global production of two simple antiviral pills that could alter the course of the pandemic by preventing severe illness from the coronavirus.

Under the agreement, Pfizer will grant a royalty-free license for the pill to the MPP, in a deal that will allow manufacturers to take out a sublicense. They will receive Pfizer’s formula for the drug, and be able to sell it for use in 95 developing countries, mostly in Africa and Asia, once regulators authorize the drug in those places.

The deal excludes some large countries that have suffered devastating coronavirus outbreaks. For example, while a Brazilian drug company could get a license to make the pill for export to other countries, the medicine could not be made generically for use in Brazil.

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