35 global companies to start making Pfizer’s antiviral pill
A United Nations -backed agency announced Thursday that 35 manufacturers had agreed to produce generic forms of Pfizer’s oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19.
Manufacturing companies in 12 countries including Brazil, China, Mexico, India and Serbia are among the 35 that have signed agreements to help produce the drug, known as Paxlovid.
Six companies will focus on producing the substance of the drug and nine companies will produce the product, while the remainder will do both.
This production development was made possible through an agreement made in November between Pfizer and the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), a U.N.-backed organization.
The MPP was established in 2010 by Unitaid, a global response group aimed at providing affordable medicines and technologies to poorer countries. The goal of the MPP is to encourage companies to license medicines and technologies through a public health agency to make them more accessible to lower- and middle-income countries.
According to the MPP, this agreement will enable about 53 percent of the world population to have access to Pfizer’s antiviral nirmatrelvir, also known as Paxlovid.
Pfizer will not receive royalties from the sale of the antiviral pill made by MPP’s other licensees.
“The MPP sublicensees and the additional capacity for COVID-19 treatment they will supply will play a critical role to help ensure that people everywhere, particularly those living in the poorest parts of the world, have equitable access to an oral treatment option against COVID-19,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said.
The MPP said that these companies were able to meet its standards for “production capacity [and] regulatory compliance, as well as international standards for quality-assured medicines.”
MPP Executive Director Charles Gore said in a statement, “Nirmatrelvir is a new product and requires substantial manufacturing capabilities to produce, and we have been very impressed with the quality of manufacturing demonstrated by these companies.”