In 2001, the world’s first coronavirus coronemic was discovered in China, where one victim died from it. Since then, coronaviruses — which cause the common cold and can lead to serious disease, including pneumonia and kidney disease — have killed more than 1,000 people. But new drugs to treat them exist only in chemical forms, like the one being developed by Pfizer.
The company has promised to introduce a pill of COVID-19 in the next two years in order to provide “scientific proof” of its “prospects for use in treating patients with coronaviruses that have no pre-existing therapies.” Pfizer said in a statement that the pills “may come in small quantities (1,000-3,000 milligrams) in the first six months and then increase in dose to meet increasing demand.” In a blog post, the company pointed out that using the COVID-19 pill in developing countries will “reduce the amount of expensive CO 2 stacks needed to create one pill.” Pfizer will also make “simpler, lower cost scaling of high-tech scale-up equipment available for clinical trial sizes needed” in developing countries.
According to Health News International, about 250 copies of COVID-19 pill could be manufactured by low-income countries annually with available technology. Under the agreement, no research fees would be paid by the governments of the countries that manufacture it — conditions that would still leave countries like the U.S. and the United Kingdom — the richest on the planet — paying millions of dollars a year in clinical trials.