Pfizer Inc. has signed a deal with UN to allow other drug companies to make their revolutionary VOID-19 pill, which can make the treatment available to more than half of the world’s population.
Pfizer has agreed to grant a license for making their pill to a Geneva-based Medicines Patent Pool, allowing numerous generic drug manufacturers to produce their pill for use in about 93 countries, making up more than half of the global population. Although the deal excludes a few big countries which suffered a Covid-19 outbreak like Brazil etc.
The deal was stuck even before Pfizer’s pill was authorised anywhere. This is a good sign and according to health officials, can help ending the pandemic quicker. Esteban Burrone, the head of policy at the Medicines Patent Pool said, “It’s quite significant that we will be able to provide access to a drug that appears to be effective and has just been developed, to more than 4 billion people.”
He adds that “we try to strike a very delicate balance between the interests of the company, the sustainability required by generic producers, and most importantly, the public health needs in lower and middle-income countries.” Although coronavirus is a public health emergency, Pfizer will not receive any royalties on sales of their pills in lower-income countries.
Earlier, Pfizer claimed that their pill can cut the risk of getting hospitalized and even the risk of death to up to 90% in people having light or moderate coronavirus infections. Without wasting much time, Pfizer has been asking the US Food and Drug Administration to approve and start the sales of this pill as it will make home treatment successful and effective and keep people away from the hospitals. Currently, most Covid-19 treatments are in the form of injections, and hence require people to go to hospitals, this pill can be a big game changer.