Pfizer is planning to supply 4 million Covid antiviral treatments

Pfizer is planning to supply 4 million Covid antiviral treatments

March 23, 2022: -Pfizer is about to supply up to 4 million courses of its oral Covid-19 antiviral treatment to dozens of poorer nations with the help of the United Nations Children’s Fund, the company announced Tuesday.

According to the company, Pfizer expects to start supplying the antiviral pills, Paxlovid to UNICEF beginning from the coming month and will continue to do so through the end of the year. According to Pfizer, low-income nations will receive the medications at a not-for-profit price, while upper-middle-income countries will pay more under a tiered pricing system.

Pfizer has licensed Paxlovid through the Medicines Patent Pool, a U.N.-backed public health organization, allowing other companies to produce a generic, low-cost version of the Covid treatment to boost supply in lower-income nations throughout the world. So far, 35 companies in 12 countries across Latin America, the Middle East, and South and East Asia have signed agreements to produce the raw ingredients or the finished drug.

The agreement with UNICEF will supply Paxlovid to the 95 low- and middle-income nations targeted by the licensing agreement. According to Pfizer, the goal is to provide short-term access to oral antiviral treatment as companies get the generic manufacturing up and running.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized Paxlovid on an emergency basis in December for people 12 years of age and older. Paxlovid was 89% effective at preventing hospitalization in those at high risk of Covid in clinical trials.

Pfizer is expecting $22 billion in sales for Paxlovid in 2022 based on deals already signed or close to finalization. The drugmaker is agreeing to supply 20 million courses of Paxlovid to the U.S. government through September of this year.

Paxlovid is administered very soon after a Covid-19 diagnosis in a three tablet course twice daily for five days. Patients take two nirmatrelvir pills, developed by Pfizer, with one tablet of ritonavir, a widely used HIV drug. Nirmatrelvir inhibits an enzyme the virus needs to replicate, while ritonavir works to slow the patients’ metabolism to permit the drug to remain active in the body for a longer period of time.

While Pfizer is licensing Paxlovid for generic manufacturing, the drugmaker has not done the same for its Covid vaccine. Oxfam America has called on shareholders at the company’s annual meeting to support a feasibility study on transferring the technology underlying the vaccine to developing nations.

Pfizer’s board is calling on shareholders to vote against the proposal, contending that the technology underlying the vaccine is complex and requires a high-level proficiency to maintain the quality of the shots. Pfizer is also aiming to supply 2 billion vaccine doses to poorer nations by 2022.

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Pfizer is planning to supply 4 million Covid antiviral treatments