Pfizer, Merck give production license of anti-COVID-19 pills to Vietnam

Vietnam Institute of Chemistry successfully self-produced drugs to treat Covid-19

Two US pharmaceutical groups, Pfizer and MSD, have agreed to give production licenses of COVID-19 tablets to Vietnamese companies, according to Vietnam’s Ministry of Health.

The Drug Administration Department of the Ministry of Health said in a statement that pharmaceutical corporations have sent approval letters to the department for the production of the antiviral drugs Molnupiravir and Paxlovid.

Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company that is currently making an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, said last week it would allow manufacturers to supply their experimental anti-coronavirus drug to 95 low- and middle-income countries through a voluntary franchise agreement to manufacture in these countries with the organization named Medicines Patent Pool (MPP).

According to a notice issued on November 26, the Ministry of Health said that MSD Pharmaceutical Group, also known as Merck & Co Inc, earlier this month signed an agreement with MPP. Accordingly, manufacturing facilities that want to obtain a voluntary franchise to produce the antiviral drug Molnupiravir will submit an application to this organization.

The Drug Administration Department of Vietnam also said that it has informed the Vietnam Pharmaceutical Business Association so that member drug manufacturers wishing to become franchise partners to voluntarily produce COVID-19 treatment drugs Paxlovid of Pfizer can submit their applications.

According to the Ministry of Health, there are currently 5 Vietnamese pharmaceutical companies that have submitted dossiers for the production of the anti-viral drug Molnupiravir. But because this drug has not been licensed for domestic circulation, the Ministry is considering submitting to the Government for approval for licensing in the case of emergency epidemic prevention and control, with a number of terms on the dossier being shortened.

The antiviral drug Molnupiravir has been used by the Ministry of Health for pilot treatment with controlled F0 (source of infection) and mild symptoms at home. Ho Chi Minh City is the first locality in the country to use this drug for treating mild and asymptomatic F0 at home. According to this ministry, the results of a pilot program to treat this drug in 22 provinces/cities show that the drug is “highly safe, well-tolerated, and has obvious effectiveness” in reducing viral load as well as spreading the virus. such as shortening the treatment time.

COVID-19 cases are rapidly increasing again to more than 10,000 after a period of “speedy” vaccination with vaccine sources from helping countries through the global vaccine sharing mechanism COVAX, and starting to relax loosen travel restrictions. Vietnam has so far recorded more than 1.1 million COVID-19 infections and more than 24,000 deaths. More than 47% of the total population of about 98 million people in Vietnam have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus.

Vietnam is also lobbying internationally to become a vaccine production center against COVID in the region. This proposal of Vietnam was supported by the World Health Organization during the visit and working session of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on November 28 in Geneva in Switzerland, according to the Ministry of Health.

Mr. Phuc, in a meeting with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, expressed his hope that partners would actively support Vietnam to become a center for technology transfer of mRNA vaccines and a place to manufacture vaccines for the Western Pacific. According to the Ministry of Health, the WHO director-general supported this idea and said he would discuss with the technical department about the possibility of bringing Vietnam-made vaccines to participate in the WHO’s global testing program.

Also in this meeting, Mr. Phuc announced that Vietnam would contribute an additional $500,000 to the COVAX program, bringing the total contribution of Vietnam to $1 million D. The US, through this mechanism, has provided Vietnam with nearly 20 million doses of a vaccine against COVID-19 for free. (Translated)


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