Vietnam says Pfizer, MSD to grant its firms licenses to produce COVID-19 pills

The companies have sent letters of approval to the Drug Administration of Vietnam, the ministry said in a statement, for the production of Molnupiravir and Paxlovid pills

  
Image used for illustrative purpose Syringe and vial are seen in front of displayed new Pfizer logo in this illustration taken, June 24, 2021.

Image used for illustrative purpose Syringe and vial are seen in front of displayed new Pfizer logo in this illustration taken, June 24, 2021.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

HANOI  - Drugmakers Pfizer Inc and MSD, known as Merck & Co Inc in North America, have agreed to give licenses to firms in Vietnam to produce COVID-19 treatment pills, Vietnam's ministry of health said on Friday.

The companies have sent letters of approval to the Drug Administration of Vietnam, the ministry said in a statement, for the production of Molnupiravir and Paxlovid pills.

Pfizer last week said it would allow generic manufacturers to supply its experimental antiviral COVID-19 pill to 95 low- and middle-income countries through a voluntary licensing agreement with international public health group Medicines Patent Pool (MPP).

Pfizer and MSD did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comments.

The ministry said five local pharmaceutical companies have shown their interest in acquiring the license for producing Molnupiravir.

Vietnam has so far recorded 1.1 million COVID-19 infections and 24,000 deaths. Over 47% of its population of 98 million have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus.

The ministry said Vietnam has so far used 250,000 Molnupiravir doses, with 72%-93% of recipients recovering after five days.

(Editing by Martin Petty)


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