In search of cod pills, poor nations fear a recurrence of the AIDS crisis.

In search of cod pills, poor nations fear a recurrence of the AIDS crisis.

The cost of Paxlovid’s UNICEF – including Pfizer’s insistence on how much UNICEF pays to be kept secret – is a key point, said Dr. Philip Deonton, who runs the WHO consortium’s treatment department. Announcing its “strong recommendation” for Paxlovid, the WHO took the unusual step of publicly denouncing Pfizer for its “lack of transparency”, making it difficult to know which countries have the drug and which What are you paying?

“We need better visibility in terms of cost,” said Dr. Downton.

Manufacturers often prefer to keep the details of their sales agreements confidential so as not to weaken their hand with other potential buyers. Albert Borla, Pfizer’s chief executive, reported last week that Paxlovid has been a “key growth driver” for the company, which is using a “tiered pricing approach” that targets low- and middle-income countries. Will not get Paxlovid. – Cost for profit.

In response to a query from the New York Times, Pfizer said in a statement that it was “deeply disappointed” by the statements made by our partners, adding that ” Heard and answered them. “

Both Pfizer and Merck have also taken steps to make cheaper generic versions of their tablets available, signing licensing agreements with the Madison Patent Pool, which are available to low- and middle-income countries at low cost during the global AIDS crisis. Made to deliver medicine. It took years to reach such agreements for HIV drugs, and there were bitter battles between workers and companies.

But Covid antivirals agreements do not apply to many middle-income nations, including most of Latin America and parts of North Africa and Asia. The result, experts say, is that both rich and poor countries will have access, but the middle ground will have to negotiate with companies – or force drug makers to change their intellectual property.

So far, 36 companies from 12 countries have signed up to make generic Paxlovid. Companies in India are already developing generic versions of both Paxlovid and molnupiravir. It is expected that both drugs will eventually be available in about 100 low- and middle-income countries, covering half the world’s population. Companies will not receive royalties from sales, while the WHO has declared a pandemic as a global health emergency.

Paul Schaeper, executive director of global public policy at Merck, said: “Given the severity of the epidemic and the fact that vaccine access rates have been very unequal, we feel that this is a very important contribution. The company can. “

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