Pfizer to Supply 4 Million COVID-19 Antiviral Pills to Low-Income Nations: Report

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Pfizer announced Tuesday that the company will be sending as many as 4 million oral COVID-19 anti-viral pills to many low and middle-income countries as early as next month. These shipments are part of an agreement with the United Nations Children’s Fund, Pfizer notes. Additionally, these shipments should cover over half of the world’s population, the company says. This distribution program will begin next month and will continue the distribution of the anti-viral medication throughout the year.

What We Know

  • Pfizer announces the company will begin supplying antivirus pills called Paxlovid to UNICEF as early as next month.
  • Paxlovid is approved for patients over 12-years of age. However, studies have begun testing the medication on patients ages six-years-old and up.
  • The effort will provide the anti-viral medications to lower and middle income countries all around the world.
  • This effort will provide over half of the worlds population with the anti-viral medication.

Pfizer Will Be Working With UNICEF To Provide COVID-19 Anti-Viral Drug To Low Income Countries

The drug company Pfizer announced Tuesday that it will be providing as many as 4 million doses of its COVID-19 antivirus drug via the distribution program. The anti-viral medication, which is called Paxlovid, is being sent to these areas as part of an agreement between Pfizer and the United Nations Children’s Fund; otherwise known as UNICEF. The efforts will provide to nearly 100 lower and middle-income countries. Consequently, notes the company, this distribution effort will supply around 53% of the world’s population with the COVID-19 anti-viral meds.

The antivirus medication which is designed to be taken orally is said to be a breakthrough in the treatment of the COVID-19 virus. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the breakthrough drug in the treatment of COVID-19 in patients over the age of 12-years-old in the U.S. late last year. And, earlier this month, Pfizer began studies on the effects of the anti-viral medication on younger patients. Primarily on patients between the ages of six and seventeen years old.

Pfizer Will Be Supplying Anti-Viral Meds To Low-Income Countries Next Month

Pfizer plans to start supplying Paxlovid to UNICEF for distribution to lower-income countries next month. Subsequently, Pfizer notes, the low-income nations will receive the anti-viral medication at a price the company calls “not for profit;” while the middle-income nations will receive the pills on a tiered pricing system, Pfizer notes.

“We have seen the negative impacts of COVID-19 in every part of the world,” notes Pfizer chairman and CEO Albert Bourla.

“And know that we must work towards access for all people,” the CEO adds. “Regardless of where they live or their circumstances.” Furthermore, the Pfizer chairman and CEO notes, that the partnership with UNICEF will allow the company to do exactly this.

“Supplying to UNICEF is an important part of our comprehensive strategy,” the Bourla explains.

“To accelerate access to Paxlovid to treat COVID-19 infection as quickly as possible,” the Pfizer chairman continues. Bourla also notes that the effort aims to minimize the strain of the healthcare systems.

Additionally, Pfizer hopes to achieve this, says Bourla, by offering the anti-viral medication at an affordable price. This, the Pfizer CEO and chairman says, will “help save lives in low- and middle-income countries.”