An agreement between Pfizer and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention will expand access to high-quality COVID-19 treatment in Africa, according to Devex.
The agreement: The Africa CDC recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Pfizer for access to Paxlovid, also known as the “COVID-19 pill.” Dr. Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, acting director of Africa CDC, said the memorandum will give African nations access to Paxlovid at cost.
- The distribution method of Paxlovid to African countries is yet to be decided. According to Ouma, the African Union will assess each country’s demand for the pill, while health workers throughout the continent will need to be trained on how to prescribe it.
The NAM’s view: This agreement is the kind of approach that the NAM has championed in the global fight against COVID-19. The NAM advocates for addressing core manufacturing bottlenecks while building innovative partnerships to increase production, distribution and access to lifesaving products—as opposed to initiatives like the recent World Trade Organization agreement to waive the very intellectual property protections responsible for these innovations.
What we’re saying: “Innovative manufacturers have been on the front lines of the global fight against COVID-19, establishing partnerships like Pfizer’s new agreement with the Africa CDC to expand production and distribution of lifesaving vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics,” said NAM Senior Director International Economic Affairs Ryan Ong.
- “We need policymakers to focus on effective tools that strengthen innovation and leverage trade to expand access—not damaging proposals at the World Trade Organization that would expand attacks on IP from vaccines to diagnostics and therapeutics.”