Pfizer CEO rules out generic COVID drug Paxlovid for China

Jan. 9 (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) It is not in talks with Chinese language authorities to license a generic model of its COVID-19 therapy Paxlovid to be used there, CEO Albert Bourla mentioned Monday, however it’s in discussions in regards to the value of the branded product.

Reuters reported on Friday that China is in talks with Pfizer to safe a license permitting native drug corporations to fabricate and distribute a generic model of the US firm’s antiviral drug Paxlovid in China.

Referring to this report, talking on the JPMorgan Healthcare Convention in San Francisco, Bourla mentioned, “We’re not in discussions. We have already got an settlement for native manufacture of Paxlovid in China. So we’ve got a neighborhood companion who will make Paxlovid for us, after which we’ll promote it to the Chinese language market.”

Bourla mentioned the corporate has shipped hundreds of therapy programs in 2022 to China, and previously two weeks, has elevated that to the tens of millions.

On Sunday, China’s Well being Care Safety Administration (NHSA) mentioned the nation wouldn’t embrace Paxlovid in an replace to the checklist of medicine coated by fundamental medical insurance coverage, because the US firm quoted a excessive value for the COVID-19 drug.

The drug is at the moment coated by China’s complete medical health insurance plan below momentary measures till the top of March.

Bourla mentioned talks with China about future pricing of the therapy stalled after China demanded a lower cost than Pfizer fees most lower-middle-income international locations.

“They’re the second largest financial system on the earth and I do not suppose they need to pay lower than El Salvador,” Bourla mentioned.

Infections have surged since China moved away from its strict “zero COVID” coverage final month, resulting in shortages of flu and COVID medicine.

A field of Paxlovid, which is used for one course of therapy, is altering arms for as a lot as 50,000 yuan ($7,313), in accordance with native media studies and social media posts, greater than 20 instances the unique value of about 2,000 yuan.

The failure of talks to incorporate Pfizer within the checklist of medicine coated by fundamental state medical health insurance sparked heated discussions on Chinese language social media on Monday.

Some Chinese language media shops reported that Pfizer lowered the value of Paxlovid to 600 yuan in negotiations, sparking a wave of criticism and questions on social media as to why Chinese language regulators wouldn’t settle for that value.

A separate report by monetary journal Caixin on Monday cited unnamed sources as saying that Pfizer has not considerably lowered its value past the 1,890 yuan it at the moment fees Chinese language hospitals.

Pfizer declined to touch upon Chinese language media studies in regards to the value it quoted through the negotiations. The NHSA didn’t instantly reply to a Reuters request for touch upon the negotiations.

Chinese language state media World Occasions accused Pfizer Inc of attempting to revenue from China’s coronavirus battle in an opinion piece on Monday.

It’s no secret, she mentioned, that the US capitalist forces have already amassed nice wealth from the world by promoting vaccines and medicines, and the US authorities has been coordinating on a regular basis. There isn’t a such factor as human proper, however monopoly. .

“In the event that they care about that (the epidemic in China), why would not Pfizer abandon its pursuit of revenue and cooperate with China extra sincerely?”

Delisting is not going to have an effect on the corporate’s enterprise there till April, Bourla mentioned, and the corporate could find yourself promoting solely to the non-public market in China.

Pfizer signed a deal in August with Chinese language drugmaker Zhejiang Huahai (600521.SS) To provide Paxlovid in mainland China just for sufferers there.

Bourla mentioned manufacturing is trending up in China and progress has been made that would enable it to start manufacturing within the first half of the yr, forward of its inside year-end estimates.

(Reporting by Michael Ehrman in New York, Brenda Goh in Shanghai, Sophie Yu in Beijing). Enhancing by Sandra Mahler, Christopher Cushing, and Muralikumar Anantharaman

Our requirements: Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

Leave a Comment