Merck’s cheap Covid pill raises hopes for developing world

World

Merck’s cheap Covid pill raises hopes for developing world

The innovative pill will be a godsend to many poorer countries left behind in the Covid vaccination push

James Paton

As Merck races ahead with an experimental pill that could play a pivotal role in the fight against Covid-19, efforts are intensifying to bring the drug to developing countries that have struggled to vaccinate their populations.

The global health agency Unitaid and its partners hope to reach an agreement as soon as this week to secure the first supplies of the antiviral treatment for lower — and middle — income nations, Philippe Duneton, its executive director, said in an interview. Unitaid has been in discussions with the company and generic manufacturers, he said.

“This is really what we’ve waited for all these months,” he said. “There is a window of hope with this treatment, and now we need to collectively make it work for people” in less well-to-do countries...

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