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Pfizer announces deal to make its oral antiviral Covid-19 medication available more cheaply in poorer countries

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer today announced a deal to make its oral antiviral Covid-19 medication available more cheaply in poorer countries.

Pfizer said  if the promising pill passes trials and regulatory approval then around 53 percent of the world’s population in low and middle-income countries would be immensely benefitted.

Pfizer, which also produces a Covid vaccine with German lab BioNTech, said it had signed an agreement to sub-licence production of its Paxlovid pill with the global Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), without receiving royalties.

The Geneva-based MPP is a United Nations-backed international organisation that works to facilitate the development of medicines for low- and middle-income nations.

It follows a similar deal for US rival Merck & Co last month. Pfizer will forego royalties on sales in all countries covered by the agreement while Covid-19 remains classified as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization.

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