Vietnam says Pfizer, MSD will grant the company a license to produce COVID-19 pills

Hanoi — Drugmakers Pfizer Inc and MSD, known as Merck & Co Inc in North America, have agreed to grant Vietnamese companies a license to manufacture a COVID-19 treatment, the Vietnamese Ministry of Health said Friday.

The ministry said in a statement that the two companies had sent approvals to the Vietnamese drug bureau for the manufacture of molnupiravir and paxlobid tablets.

Pfizer last week generic maker puts experimental antiviral COVID-19 pills into 95 low- and middle-income countries Voluntary license agreement With the International Public Health Group’s Pharmaceutical Patent Pool (MPP).

Pfizer and MSD did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

The ministry said five local pharmaceutical companies are interested in obtaining a manufacturing license for molnupiravir.

Vietnam has recorded 1.1 million COVID-19 infections and 24,000 deaths so far. More than 47% of the 98 million people are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

According to the ministry, Vietnam has used 250,000 molnupiravirs so far, with 72-93 percent of recipients recovering after five days.