2022-09-22| COVID-19

Pfizer Pledges 6 million COVID-19 Treatment Courses to Global Fund

by Max Heirich
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On September 22, Pfizer announced an agreement to supply up to six million COVID-19 treatment courses of PAXLOVID™ (nirmatrelvir [PF-07321332] tablets and ritonavir tablets). The courses will go to Global Fund as part of its COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM).

Related Article: The COVID-19 Pandemic: Is Omicron the Last Variant?

Inhibiting COVID-19 Virus Replication

PAXLOVID inhibits COVID-19 virus replication in ongoing infections. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for PAXLOVID on December 22, 2021. The EUA outlines that pharmacists should prescribe PAXLOVID for patients aged twelve and up whose infection is at risk of progressing to server COVID-19. 

Currently, the only approved treatment for COVID-19 is Gilead Sciences’ Veklury (Remdesivir). Gaining full approval in October 2020, Veklury similarly inhibits the viral replication of the COVID-19 virus. 

As a part of Global Fund’s C19RM, Pfizer agreed to supply up to six million COVID-19 treatment courses to low to middle-income countries. 

Global Fund’s Efforts Against the Pandemic

Since April 2020, the C19RM has awarded over $4.3 billion to one hundred thirty-two countries. These funds provided low to middle-income countries with COVID-19 tests, treatments, personal protective equipment, and critical elements of health systems strengthening.

Pending regulatory approval in each of the one hundred thirty-two countries, the countries will receive PAXLOVID supplies before the end of the year. In line with Global Fund’s framework, Pfizer set eligible low to middle-income countries’ prices at a not-for-profit price. Upper middle-income countries and those wealthier will pay prices defined by Pfizer.

On the agreement, Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pfizer, said, “After so much disruption and loss due to COVID-19, we must continue to accelerate access to PAXLOVID as a treatment option for high-risk patients in all regions of the world along with test and treat programs that help get treatment quickly to those in need. This agreement with Global Fund is a critical step that will boost equitable access for high-risk patients in low-and-middle-income countries.”

Pfizer’s deal with Global Fund marks another move to donate COVID-19 treatments, following a similar deal for four million treatments with UNICEF earlier this year.

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