UNICEF signs supply agreement with Pfizer for oral COVID-19 treatment
NEW YORK/COPENHAGEN, 22 March 2022 – UNICEF has signed a supply agreement with Pfizer for the procurement of up to 4 million treatment courses of the new oral antiviral medicine nirmatrelvir/ ritonavir (PAXLOVID™) in 2022.
UNICEF procurement of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (PAXLOVID™) is dependent on country demand, clinical recommendations and necessary approvals.
In December 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the use of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (PAXLOVID™) for the treatment of mild to moderate cases of COVID-19. Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (PAXLOVID™) is currently under assessment by the World Health Organization (WHO).
This agreement will help ensure that low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have timely access to this novel COVID-19 therapeutic. Supply will be made available for procurement and delivery to 95 LMICs, which includes some upper-middle income countries. UNICEF will work closely with WHO and Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) partners such as The Global Fund and Unitaid to ensure equitable access to nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (PAXLOVID™).
UNICEF continues to work with ACT-A partners and industry to facilitate equitable access to COVID-19 therapeutics.
Unitaid statement on the MPP agreements for local production of generic versions of the oral COVID-19 antiviral nirmatrelvir
24 March 2022
Geneva – Unitaid welcomes the agreements signed by the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) with generic manufacturers to produce Pfizer’s oral COVID-19 treatment nirmatrelvir, co-administered with ritonavir, accelerating access to this promising outpatient medicine in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Nirmatrelvir is an oral antiviral co-administered with ritonavir for non-hospitalized mild-to-moderate COVID-19 patients at highest risk of developing severe forms of the disease. According to a study conducted by Pfizer, the new medicine can notably avert progression to severe illness and reduce the risk of hospitalization and death when administered in early stages of the infection. The oral outpatient antiviral is currently under assessment by the World Health Organization.
With COVID-19 vaccine coverage still limited in low resource settings, oral outpatient treatments can play a critical role in the management of COVID-19, with a potential to save lives and ease the pressure on healthcare systems. But challenges in equitable access remain and global efforts are needed to support production of generic versions of medicines and ensure systems are in place for these products to be promptly prequalified and adopted.
This is a significant step for the work the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator’s therapeutics pillar partners are leading, working closely with the MPP, originator and generic companies, to rapidly introduce new treatments in LMICs, alongside adequate testing, and ensure rapid and affordable access to those products…