Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report has signed an agreement with the UN-backed, Geneva-based Medicines Patent Pool to allow its new COVID-19 pill to be licensed and manufactured by generic producers.
The deal allows generic drug companies to manufacture the pill for use in 95 countries, covering about 53% of the world’s population.
Earlier this month, Pfizer's own study said its pill cut the risk of hospitalization and death by nearly 90% in people with mild to moderate coronavirus infections.
The terms of the agreement state that Pfizer will not receive royalties on sales in low-income countries and will waive royalties on sales in all countries covered by the agreement while COVID-19 remains a public health emergency.
So far, the drug which is still experimental has only been authorized in Great Britain and the deal would not make it available in many nations that are undergoing large outbreaks of COVID-19 including Brazil, Argentina and Thailand.
Doctors Without Borders said it was “disheartened” that the Pfizer deal does not make the drug available to the entire world.