Countries rush to buy Merck and Pfizer’s Covid-19 pills as Omicron variant emerges

COVID 19 pills

Merck & Co Inc has signed deals to sell over 6 million courses of its experimental COVID-19 pill molnupiravir to governments around the world and Pfizer has struck a $5.29 billion deal with the U.S. government to deliver 10 million courses of its experimental COVID-19 pills Paxlovid as nations try to tame the pandemic.

Omicron, the new variant first detected in Botswana, has left governments around the world scrambling to stop the spread. Officials in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Czech Republic, Italy, Czech Republic, Austria, Israel, Netherlands as well as the United Kingdom have confirmed cases of the relatively little known variant of the coronavirus.

Pfizer is pursuing the US approval of its experimental antiviral Covid-19 pill that benefits to eliminating the chance of hospitalization or death for adults at risk of extreme disease by 89 percent in a clinical trial, stated Pfizer Inc. 

Pfizer claimed that it had accomplished the suggestion of its application for emergency use authorization (EUA) of the medication, Paxlovid, with the US FDA, with the data from the drug maker’s clinical test. 

Moreover, the oral drug could prove to be an encouraging new weapon in the battle against the pandemic, because it can be used as an early at-home treatment to help avert Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths. Additionally, the drug could also become a vital device in countries and areas that have restricted access to vaccines or low vaccination rates. 

However, it is not yet clear when US regulators will rule on Pfizer’s application. Merck & Co and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, which are making challenging Covid-19 pills, while molnupiravir has accomplished their EUA submission on Oct 11. 

A board of outside consultants to the FDA will have a meeting to reflect that application on Nov 30. It is anticipated to be accessible this year. 

Furthermore, Pfizer stated it believes to produce 180,000 treatment courses at the end of next month and at least 50 million courses by the end of 2022. 

Earlier, the company said it will permit generic producers to supply its Covid-19 pill to 95 low- and middle-income countries through a licensing agreement with the international public health group Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). 

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