The Pfizer corporation announced on Tuesday that its officials had inked a licensing agreement which will enable less wealthy nations to distribute its antiviral drug Paxlovid in the form of generic anti-Covid pills.
Pfizer, based out of New York City, agreed to allow generic drug manufacturers to produce their own Paxlovid pills at a much lower price than the original drug.
“Pfizer will not receive royalties on sales in low-income countries and will further waive 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,” Pfizer said in the statement.
The Medicines Patent Pool, a United Nations-backed public health organization, agreed with the pharmaceuticals behemoth that Paxlovid will be made available to 95 low- to middle-income countries which are home to 53% of the entire population of the world.
Generic anti-Covid pills a “game changer,” according to CEO Dr. Albert Bourla
The anti-Covid pill, also known as PF-07321332, will be given to patients alongside an older antiviral drug called ritonavir, according to a report from CNN.
Just weeks ago, Thessaloniki-born CEO of Pfizer, Dr. Albert Bourla, announced that early results from real-world Paxlovid trials indicate that there was a reduction of 89% in the risk of Covid-related hospitalization or death among those who took the drug within the first three days they had experienced symptoms.
Taking the pills developed by Pfizer over the course of just five days can almost eliminate the risk of being hospitalized or succumbing to the coronavirus by 89% as long as the course of treatment is embarked upon within three days of when symptoms start, the Pharma giant stated on Friday morning in its announcement.
Dr. Albert Bourla, the Thessaloniki-born CEO of Pfizer, interviewed by CNBC this morning called the anti-Covid pill another “game changer” in the fight against Covid-19.
Pfizer’s pill is “fantastic demonstration of the power of science”
He continued, “This is a fantastic demonstration of the power of science — and in fact it’s coming exactly a year to the day after we announced the results of the previous breakthrough of the vaccine, which has 95% efficacy. That was November 9th; this is November 5th.
“I think this medicine will change the way things are happening right now and save millions and millions of lives.”
Asked how quickly this medication could be brought before the FDA, Bourla said that he plans to submit the Pfizer pill “before the Thanksgiving holiday” and then it will be up to the FDA to evaluate the data. “We’ll do it very fast,” he promised with a smile.
Pfizer has now spent more than one billion dollars in the effort to create its anti-Covid pill; Bourla says that the firm has a capacity to produce 500 million pills as of 2022 — at two pills per day for five days, that comes to 50 million individual courses, or treatments, for the coronavirus.
Bourla made his unusually forceful statements at an event held by the Atlantic Council think-tank. The Greek-American CEO was addressing those who attempt to sway people who are on the fence about getting vaccinated, using false information:
“Those people are criminals. They’re not ‘bad’ people. They’re criminals, because they have literally cost millions of lives.”