Connect with us

Health

Pfizer to allow generic manufacturers to supply its Covid pill to 95 countries

Pfizer said on Tuesday it will allow generic manufacturers to supply its experimental antiviral Covid-19 pill to 95 low- and middle-income countries through a licensing agreement with international public health group Medicines Patent Pool (MPP).

Published

on

Pfizer to allow generic manufacturers to supply its Covid pill to 95 countries
GNN Media: Representational Photo

The voluntary licensing agreement between Pfizer and the MPP will allow the UN-backed group to grant sub-licences 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.

Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said it was "disheartened" by the deal which it said was restrictive and excluded countries such as Argentina and China with established capacity for producing generic drugs.

"The world knows by now that access to COVID-19 medical tools needs to be guaranteed for everyone, everywhere, if we really want to control this pandemic," said Yuanqiong Hu, MSF Senior Legal Policy Adviser.

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

Pfizer's licensing deal follows a similar arrangement by rival Merck & Co (MRK.N) for generic manufacturing of its COVID-19 treatment. The deals are unusual arrangements that acknowledge the dire need for effective treatments as well as the pressure drugmakers are under to make their life-saving drugs accessible at very low costs.

"We are extremely pleased to have another weapon in our armoury to protect people from the ravages of COVID-19," Charles Gore, Executive Director of the Medicines Patent Pool, said in an interview.

Gore said he hoped the generic version of Pfizer's drug would be available within months.

The 95 countries in the agreement cover around 53% of the world's population and include all low- and lower-middle-income countries and some upper-middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. They also include countries that have transitioned from lower-middle to upper-middle-income status in the past five years, Pfizer and the MPP said.

"We must work to ensure that all people – regardless of where they live or their circumstances – have access to these breakthroughs," Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla said in a statement.

Pfizer will waive royalties on sales in low-income countries. It will also waive them in the other countries covered by the agreement as long as COVID-19 remains classified as a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization.

Pfizer's version of the drug will be in high demand. The company has said it expects to manufacture 180,000 treatment courses by the end of next month and at least 50 million courses by the end of 2022.

Even so, the drugmaker could be stretched trying to supply 47% of the world's population. A Pfizer executive said last week the market for the drug might be up to 150 million people and that many countries might also be interested in buying doses for their strategic reserves.

Pfizer has said it will sell the supply it produces using a tiered pricing approach based on the income level of each country. In the United States, it expects to price its treatment close to where Merck has priced its drug at around $700 a course.

Merck has licence agreements for it COVID-19 pill, molnupiravir, in over 100 countries. Still, some international health officials said even that is not enough for the medicine to reach many in low- and middle-income countries in large enough numbers.

SOURCE: REUTERS

Faisal Ali Ghumman

Mr. Ghumman is a seasoned journalist who has 19 years of diversified experience in print, electronic and digital media. He has worked with 92 News HD, Daily Pakistan Today, Daily The Business, Daily Dawn, Daily Times and Pakistan Observer as News Reporter, Feature Writer, Editor, Web Content Editor and Article Writer. Mr Ghumman has graduated from the Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan and is currently enrolled in M.Phil in Mass Communication at the University of Punjab.

Pakistan

Court orders former chief judge Rana Shamim to submit original affidavit within 5 days

"Rana Shamim had tried to convince the people to lose confidence in court"

Published by Siddra Sumreen

Published

on

Court orders former chief judge Rana Shamim to submit original affidavit within 5 days

Islamabad: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday has ordered Gilgit Baltistan former chief judge Rana Shamim to submit the original draft of the original affidavit within five days.

According to details, Islamabad High Court (IHC) bench headed by Justice Athar Minallah took up contempt of court case over the affidavit of Rana Shamim. 

During the proceeding, Justice Athar Minallah remarked that Rana Shamim had tried to convince the people to lose confidence in court.

He remarked that if the original affidavit was found different from the affidavit being reported. Then the responsibility will be on the newspaper.

Rana Shamim told court that his affidavit was sealed one, but he did not know which affidavit was reported.

IHC CJ Athar Minallah directed the former GB chief judge to submit his original affidavit in the court along with his written response in the case within five days and adjourned the hearing of the case for seven days.

Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan requested the court to take action against Rana Shamim.

The court adjourned the hearing till December 7.

Continue Reading

Sports

Pakistan grab second spot in ICC Test Championship rankings

Pakistan won the first Test against Bangladesh by eight wickets

Published by Siddra Sumreen

Published

on

Pakistan grab second spot in ICC Test Championship rankings

Dubai: Pakistan grabbed 2nd position in the International Cricket Council's Test Championship ranking following a marvelous victory over Bangladesh by 8 wickets in Chittagong Test.

According to details, Pakistan National Cricket Team have surpassed India National Cricket Team to become the No.2 ranked side in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23 points table.

Sri Lanka is at the top of the points table in the Test Championship while Pakistan has played 3 matches, won 2 and lost 1 match.

Pakistan has won two series under the championship, India is on the third spot on the points table and West Indies is on fourth.

Similarly, the winner of the first Test Championship New Zealand bagged fifth place and England is on sixth spot.

The second Test between Pakistan and Bangladesh will start from Saturday in Dhaka.

Continue Reading

Pakistan

Shahbaz Sharif terms country's current economic situation alarming

'The destruction of economy is due to the wrong policies of PTI government'

Published by Siddra Sumreen

Published

on

Shahbaz Sharif terms country's current economic situation alarming

Lahore: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president and opposition leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday has termed the economic condition of Pakistan as alarming.

In a statement, Shehbaz Sharif said that the current conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), there are serious fears that Pakistan's defense capability and future system of government will be paralyzed.

The PML-N leader said that another mini-budget is being presented on the demands of the IMF

The opposition leader further stated that next year, more loans will be taken to pay salaries, pensions and even to run the country.

The destruction of economy is due to the wrong policies of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, he added. 

Continue Reading

Trending