Pfizer announced on Thursday that it has reached an agreement to deliver up to six million courses of its COVID-19 antiviral Paxlovid to the Global Fund to get treatment for low and middle-income countries.
This supply agreement was completed as part of the Global Fund’s COVID19 Response Mechanism (C19RM), Pfizer said in a statement to CNNBreakingNews.
“The C19RM was the most important channel for providing grants to low and middle income countries to purchase COVID-19 testing, treatment, personal protective equipment and critical elements of strengthening healthcare systems,” said Pfizer.
“PAXLOVID treatment courses will be able to be procured through this mechanism, subject to local regulatory approval or approval, through the 132 eligible countries defined by the Global Fund based on income classification and disease burden.”
The company expects the range of Paxlovid to be available sometime this year. Paxlovid courses are sold using Pfizer’s tiered pricing model, with low-income countries paying charitable prices and higher-middle-income countries paying using the tiered approach.
“After so many disruptions and losses due to COVID-19, we need to further accelerate access to PAXLOVID as a safe and effective treatment option for high-risk patients across all regions of the world, along with testing and treatment programs that help treat those in need quickly,” said Albert, CEO of Pfizer said Bourla.
Access to coronavirus therapeutics such as Paxlovid, which must be administered within five days of the onset of symptoms, was limited for poorer countries. Since their approval, efforts have been made to give poorer countries access to these treatments..
Earlier this month, Pfizer donated 100,000 Paxlovid courses to the Covid Treatment Quick Start Consortium, a newer organization created to help countries set up testing and treatment programs.
When asked about the possibility of delivering the bivalent COVID-19 booster dose to low and middle income countries in a similar way, a representative from Pfizer said: “As has been the case since the start of this pandemic, we are having regular talks with many countries — of all income sources. Levels — as well as supranational organizations delivering our COVID-19 vaccine.”
“We are also continuing to communicate with a number of global healthcare stakeholders, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank, to discuss their views and ideas on access to LICS/LMICs. It is remarkable that of the more than 3.7 billion doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine delivered so far, more than 1.5 billion low- and middle-income countries have reached,” they said.