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Factbox: Countries rush to purchase experimental antiviral COVID-19 pills – Metro US

Factbox: Countries rush to purchase experimental antiviral COVID-19 pills

FILE PHOTO: An experimental COVID-19 treatment pill, called molnupiravir and
FILE PHOTO: An experimental COVID-19 treatment pill, called molnupiravir and being developed by Merck & Co Inc and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP, is seen in this undated handout photo released by Merck & Co Inc

(Reuters) – Merck & Co Inc has signed deals to sell about 9 million courses of its experimental COVID-19 pill molnupiravir to governments around the world as nations try to tame the pandemic.

The treatment, which received its first regulatory approvals in Britain and Denmark, is not the only one in the game.

In November, U.S. peer Pfizer Inc called an early halt to a trial of its antiviral drug Paxlovid, which according to final analysis showed nearly 90% efficacy in preventing hospitalizations and deaths in high-risk patients.

While a review of both treatments is ongoing in the United States, a panel of expert advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) narrowly voted on Dec. 1 to recommend the agency authorize Merck’s antiviral pill.

In the European Union, Merck’s treatment is still under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). However, faced with rising COVID-19 cases, the regulator on Nov. 19 issued advice on using the pill for adults ahead of providing any wider recommendation.

EMA last week said that EU member states could use Pfizer’s antiviral drug early after diagnosis of an infection even though its full review for regulatory approval has not been completed yet.

The following tables list countries that have expressed interest in Merck or Pfizer pills, sorted alphabetically:

Merck pill

COUNTRY VOLUME PRICE TIMING OF SOURCE

DELIVERY

Australia 300,000 doses

Belgium 10,000 doses

Canada 500,000

courses

EU

France 50,000 doses

Germany

Indonesia 600,000 – 1 December ,

million doses 2021

Italy 50,000 courses

Japan 1.6 mln $1.2

courses billion

Malaysia 150,000

courses

Philippines 300,000 100-150 November

courses pesos 2021

($1.97-$2

.96) per

pill

Singapore

South Korea 200,000

courses

Switzerland 8,640 doses Jan 2022

“at the

latest”

Thailand 200,000

courses

UK

2,230,000 early

2022

courses

United 3,100,000 $700 per

States courses course,

total of

$2.2

billion

Pfizer pill

COUNTRY VOLUME PRICE TIMING OF SOURCE

DELIVERY

Australia 500,000 https://bit.ly/3BTUQeL

courses

Canada 1 mln doses

EU

Germany

Italy 50,000

courses

South Korea 70,000

courses

Thailand

UK

2,750,000 Early

courses 2022

United 10,000,000 $530 per by the end

States courses course, of 2021

total of

$5.29

billion

($1 = 85.4800 taka)

(Reporting by Ina Kreutz, Agnieszka Gosciak and Federica Urso; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Bernadette Baum, Angus MacSwan, Frances Kerry and Paul Simao)

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