Pfizer to Allow Generic Drugmakers to Manufacture COVID-19 Antiviral Pill

Headline Roundup November 16th, 2021

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced Tuesday that it would allow generic drug companies around the world to produce its COVID-19 antiviral pill by granting a royalty-free license to Medicines Patent Pool, a U.N.-backed nonprofit.

Merck made a similar arrangement for its COVID-19 pill last month. Pfizer also formally asked the FDA to grant emergency use authorization for its pill. Multiple outlets reported Tuesday that the Biden administration would soon announce plans to purchase 10 million courses of the Pfizer pill. 

Coverage in left-rated outlets came relatively earlier than coverage in right-rated outlets on Tuesday, with the exception of The Daily Wire. Meanwhile, some center- and left-rated legacy outlets like The New York Times, the Associated Press and The Washington Post featured the story near the top of their homepages. Coverage was split between Pfizer’s patent deal, its FDA authorization request and the Biden administration's plans to purchase pills. Update 11/16/21 2:05pm ET: Included major right-rated outlets' coverage, which came after publication of this Headline Roundup. 

From the Right
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In an agreement announced on Tuesday, Pfizer will permit its COVID-19 pill treatment to be manufactured and sold in countries that might not be able to otherwise afford the treatment.

The deal includes Pfizer working with Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), “a United Nations-backed public health organization working to increase access to life-saving medicines for low- and middle-income countries.”

Through the agreement, MPP will be able to “facilitate additional production and distribution of the investigational antiviral, pending regulatory authorization or approval, by granting sub-licenses to qualified generic medicine manufacturers, with the...

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From the Center
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Drugmaker Pfizer Inc. has signed a deal with a U.N.-backed group to allow other manufacturers to make its experimental COVID-19 pill, a move that could make the treatment available to more than half of the world’s population.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Pfizer said it would grant a license for the antiviral pill to the Geneva-based Medicines Patent Pool, which would let generic drug companies produce the pill for use in 95 countries, making up about 53% of the world’s population.

The deal excludes some large countries that have suffered...

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From the Left
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Pfizer announced a deal on Tuesday to allow its promising Covid-19 treatment to be made and sold inexpensively in 95 poorer nations that are home to more than half of the world’s population.

The agreement follows a similar arrangement negotiated by Merck last month, and together the deals have the potential to vastly expand global production of two simple antiviral pills that could alter the course of the pandemic by preventing severe illness from the coronavirus.

“The fact that we now have two manufacturer-anywhere licenses for these two drugs is...

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