Pfizer's deal with UN will expand access to COVID-19 antiviral pill to low-income countries

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Posted at 7:15 AM, Nov 16, 2021

Pfizer announced Tuesday that it had entered an agreement with the UN that will expand access of its new COVID-19 antiviral pill to millions of people in poorer countries upon its approval.

In a press release Tuesday, Pfizer announced that it had entered a licensing agreement with the U.N.-backed Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) that will allow the new pill to be distributed at an affordable price in 95 lower-income countries.

According to Pfizer's press release, the population of those 95 countries amounts to about 53% of the world's population.

Pfizer says it will not receive any royalties on the sale of the drug.

Pfizer's agreement is similar to the one drugmaker Merck struck with the MPP late last month.

Earlier this month, Pfizer said initial studies showed that its antiviral pill — taken upon a COVID-19 diagnosis — cut hospitalization rates from the virus by 90%. No trial participants who received a dose of the drug died of the virus during the study.

Upon releasing trial results, Pfizer said it would soon ask the FDA to approve the antiviral on an emergency basis.