Bangladesh’s directorate general of drug administration on Thursday granted emergency use authorisation for the oral antiviral drug to treat mild-to-moderate Covid-19 in adults and children of 12 years and above.
Beximco Pharma will market this product under the brand name Bexovid, initially in Bangladesh.
Pfizer’s drug is protected by patents, but countries such as Bangladesh, classified as least-developed countries (LDCs) by the United Nations, can ignore such patents and make drugs more affordable in those markets. The TRIPS transition period for LDCs was extended till July 2034.
Pfizer’s antiviral pill showed an almost 90% efficacy in preventing hospitalisations and deaths in high-risk patients, and recent data from the company suggest that the drug retains its effectiveness against the fast-spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus.