Healthcare

Pfizer to supply UNICEF with nearly 4 million rounds of oral COVID treatment

Pfizer logo provided by Pfizer Media Relations on Jan. 7. 2021.
Pfizer Media Relations via AP

Pfizer has agreed to provide nearly 4 millions courses of its oral COVID-19 treatment to UNICEF to be used in 95 low- and middle-income countries.

The two-drug treatment, known as Paxlovid, will be divvied up depending on the demand, clinical recommendation and necessary approvals. Paxlovid has been granted emergency use authorization in the U.S. and is currently under assessment by the World Health Organization.

“This agreement will help ensure that low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have timely access to this novel COVID-19 therapeutic. Supply will be made available for procurement and delivery to 95 LMICs, which includes some upper-middle income countries,” said UNICEF in a press release on Tuesday.

Pfizer said it expects to be able to supply orders beginning in April and throughout 2022.

The financial details of the agreement have not been disclosed, though Pfizer said it was offering the treatment with its not-for-profit price to low- and lower middle-income countries. Upper middle-income countries will pay according to Pfizer’s tiered pricing model.

“We have seen the negative impacts of COVID-19 in every part of the world and know that we must work towards access for all people regardless of where they live or their circumstances,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement.

“Supplying to UNICEF is an important part of our comprehensive strategy to accelerate access to PAXLOVID to treat COVID-19 infection as quickly as possible and at an affordable price in order to decrease the strain on healthcare systems and help save lives in low- and middle-income countries,” he added. 

According to Pfizer, Paxlovid was shown to be 89 percent effective at reducing the risk of hospitalization or death due to COVID-19. While further research is needed, early studies have indicated that Paxlovid has some efficacy against the newer BA.2 variant that has caused cases to go up across Europe and Asia.

Tags Albert Bourla COVID-19 COVID-19 drug development Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir Paxlovid Pfizer UNICEF

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