The Director-General of the UN World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has called on Pfizer to do more to make sure that its new Covid-19 oral antiviral drug is available quickly to provide effective treatment to countries that might struggle to afford the medicine.
This appeal comes as confirmed Covid-19 cases has increased by around 30 percent in the past two weeks with increased infections in four out of six regions across the world. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said their organizations are still trying to finalize with Pfizer the proper terms and condition for low and middle-income countries around the world.
He added the this process is delaying the access and some countries may choose to wait for a generic version of the antiviral drug or medication, probably available only in early 2023, and this will be costing many lives. He said he call on Pfizer to work closely with the countries and health agencies to ensure company’s new oral antiviral medication is available effectively and quickly.
The UN health agency is closely working with UNICEF, to help the countries in sourcing antivirals when they become available. These include allocations of Paxlovid, which 43 countries have expressed interest in securing, and Molnupiravir, which 20 countries have secured.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned, each wave of the Covid-19 virus leaves more people with long Covid-19 even if hospitalizations and deaths are low, which puts extra burden on the patients and their families, health systems, and society.
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