Pfizer signs licensing agreement with UN-backed MPP to allow generic versions of its COVID-19 pill in 95 countries
17 November 2021 -

US pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) said on Tuesday it will allow generic manufacturers to supply its experimental antiviral COVID-19 pill to 95 low-income and middle-income countries through a licensing agreement with UN backed, international public health group Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday.

This voluntary licensing agreement will allow MPP to grant sub-licences to qualified generic drug manufacturers to make their own versions of the Pfizer drug, PF-07321332.

Pfizer will sell the pills it manufactures under the brand name Paxlovid.

The 95 countries in the agreement reportedly cover around 53% of the world's population and include all low-income and lower-middle-income countries and some upper-middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It also includes countries that have transitioned from lower-middle to upper-middle-income status in the past five years, Pfizer and the MPP said.

According to Pfizer, it will waive royalties on sales in low-income countries and also waive them in the other countries covered by the agreement, as long as COVID-19 remains classified as a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organisation.

Pfizer expects to manufacture 180,000 treatment courses by the end of next month and at least 50 million courses by the end of 2022.