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The Financial Express

Countries rush to purchase experimental antiviral COVID-19 pills

| Updated: December 31, 2021 16:54:10


A Pfizer employee checks the boxes containing COVID-19 treatment pills, Paxlovid, at a distribution facility in Memphis, Tennessee, US. A Pfizer employee checks the boxes containing COVID-19 treatment pills, Paxlovid, at a distribution facility in Memphis, Tennessee, US.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week authorised Merck's antiviral COVID-19 pill for high-risk adult patients, a day after giving a broader go-ahead to a similar but more effective treatment from Pfizer, Reuters reports,

In the last week, Japan and India have also recommended approval of Merck's experimental pill, which has already been approved in Britain, Denmark and the Philippines, among others, while South Korea on Monday authorised Pfizer's treatment for emergency use.

Merck has signed deals to sell about nine million courses of its treatment to governments around the world, but on Dec 22 France became the first country to publicly say it had cancelled its order following disappointing trial data. It hopes instead to receive Pfizer's drug before the end of January.

In the European Union, both treatments are under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), though the regulator has said they can be used in adults ahead of any wider recommendation.

 

Merck pill

 

 

 

COUNTRY

VOLUME

PRICE

TIMING OF  SOURCE                                DELIVERY

 

Australia

300,000 doses

 

 

Belgium

10,000 doses

 

 

Canada

500,000 courses

 

 

Indonesia

600,000 - 1 million doses

 

December
2021

Italy

50,000 courses

 

 

Japan

1.6 million courses

1.2 billion

 

Malaysia

150,000 courses

 

 

Philippines

300,000 courses

100-150 pesos ($1.97-$2.96) per pill

November

2021

South Korea

200,000 courses

 

 

Switzerland

8,640 doses

 

 Jan 2022              

"at the latest"

Thailand

200,000 courses

 

 

 UK

2,230,000 courses

 

Early 2022

United States

3,100,000 courses

$700 per course, total of $2.2 billion

 

EU

 

 

 

Germany

 

 

 

 

 Pfizer pill

 

 

 

 COUNTRY

VOLUME

PRICE

TIMING OF DELIVERY

 

Australia

500,000 courses

 

 

Canada

1 million doses

 

 

Israel

100,000

 

 

Italy

50,000 courses

 

 

South Korea

70,000 course

 

 

UK

2,750,000 courses

 

Early 2022

United States

10,000,000 courses

$530 per course, total of $5.29 billion

by the end of 2021

Thailand

 

 

 

EU

 

 

 

Germany

 

 

 

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