On Wednesday, in a significant development drugmaker Pfizer Inc said, all of its patented medicines including COVID-19 treatment Paxlovid and big-selling breast cancer drug Ibrance will be made available at not-for-profit prices to 45 of the world’s poorest countries.
The bouquet of medicines that it will make available includes “23 wholly-owned, patented medicines and vaccines that treat infectious diseases, certain cancers, rare inflammatory diseases, including pneumonia vaccine Prevnar 13, rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz and cancer treatments Xalkori and Inlyta.
The COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty which it developed along with BioNTech SE is also on the list.
“But clearly the antiviral (Paxlovid) is going to be a very big deal for them – if they need it they can get it immediately,” said the company’s CEO Albert Bourla.
Further, as and when Pfizer launches new medicines and vaccines, they will be included in the list and will be available for sale at not-for-profit price, to these countries.
The 27 low-income countries and 18 lower-income countries included in what Pfizer is calling “An Accord for a Healthier World” cover most of Africa and much of Southeast Asia.
Rwanda, Ghana, Malawi, Senegal and Uganda have already committed to joining the agreement,
In a statement Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera said, the accord will allow the countries and the drugmaker to share “the burden of costs and tasks in the production and delivery of supplies that will save millions of lives.”