Pfizer’s Covid-19 pill will reach poor countries: pharmaceutical company granted patent for its antiviral

Pfizer signed this Tuesday a voluntary license agreement you must allow access to your pill against Covid-19 Beyond the rich countries once it has been authorized, the US pharmaceutical giant and the organization announced Tuesday Medicines Patent Pool (MPP).

The generic drug manufacturers “that receive sublicenses will be able to offer the new drug in association with the ritonavir (used against the AIDS virus) in 95 countries, which cover about 53% of the world’s population, “said a spokesman for Unitaid, which created MPP, during a meeting with the UN press in Geneva.

At the beginning of November, Pfizer, which already markets one of the most effective vaccines against covid with the German group BioNTech, indicated that its oral antiviral PF-07321332 had one 89% effective in preventing hospitalization or death among adults who are at high risk of developing a severe form of the disease, based on intermediate results of clinical trials.

With this agreement, Pfizer advances on the same path as its competitor Merck, which sealed a similar pact with MPP for its own oral anticovid, the molnupiravir, which also exhibits a strong efficacy rate.

These promising results have yet to be confirmed, said Esteban Burrone, MPP’s policy maker, in an interview with the AFP agency. But if they are validated, availability “will be a matter of months and not years”, he assured.

About drugs against Covid-19

Although there are already treatments – mainly in the form of synthetic antibodies – they are drugs for patients who already have severe forms of the disease and are injected intravenously and therefore are complex to administer.

In contrast, a pill or tablet can be quickly prescribed to the patient, who can easily take it at home. Merck and Pfizer treatments, which would also have few side effects, foresee 10 doses over five days.

In parallel, an antidepressant that is already in the public domain, the fluvoxamine, showed encouraging results in preventing severe forms of COVID-19, according to a study published in October by Brazilian researchers in the Lancet Global Health journal.


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