Generics manufacturers ink deals to make Pfizer antiviral

March 18, 2022

Pfizer’s oral COVID-19 treatment nirmatrelvir is about to become more widely accessible.

Earlier this week, The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) announced that its coming together with 35 companies to manufacture the generic version of the drug, which can be supplied in 95 lower-income countries. The sublicences will allow generic manufacturers to produce the raw ingredients for nirmatrelvir and/or the finished drug itself co-packaged with ritonavir.

This sublicense agreement is possible because of a voluntary licensing agreement signed by Pfizer and the MPP in November of 2021, that enabled the supply of crucial, pandemic-mitigating drugs to countries that needed them. 

The deal also states that Pfizer will not receive royalties from nirmatrelvir sales as long as the World Health Organization considers COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concerns.

“We have established a comprehensive strategy in partnership with worldwide governments, international global health leaders and global manufacturers to help ensure access to our oral COVID-19 treatment for patients in need around the world, said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer.

“The MPP sublicensees and the additional capacity for COVID-19 treatment they will supply will play a critical role to help ensure that people everywhere, particularly those living in the poorest parts of the world, have equitable access to an oral treatment option against COVID-19,” he concluded.