US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has announced a deal to make its prospective antiviral Covid-19 pill available more cheaply in the world’s least-wealthy countries.
Under the deal struck with the global Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), Pfizer — which also produces one of the most widely-used Covid vaccines with German lab BioNTech — will not receive royalties from the generic manufacturers, making the treatment cheaper.
The agreement is subject to the oral antiviral medication passing ongoing trials and regulatory approval.
The Pfizer drug should be taken with the HIV medicine ritonavir.
Interim data from ongoing trials demonstrated an 89 percent reduction in the risk of Covid-19-related hospitalisation or death compared to a placebo, in non-hospitalised high-risk adults with Covid-19 within three days of symptom onset, said Pfizer.
COVID-19 antiviral pill is effective by y 89% in high-risk cases, the US company Pfizer revealed.
The company affirmed that the new treatment cuts the risk of hospitalisation or death by 89% in vulnerable adults.
The drug – Paxlovid – will be ready soon after symptoms develop in people at high risk of severe disease.
The Pfizer drug, known as a protease inhibitor, can block an enzyme the virus needs in order to multiply. When taken alongside a low dose of another antiviral pill called ritonavir, it stays in the body for longer.
The company’s chairman and chief executive Albert Bourla said the pill had “the potential to save patients’ lives. It reduces the severity of Covid-19 infections, and eliminate up to nine out of 10 hospitalisations”.