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Although Pfizer (PFE) agreed to make its Covid-19 pill available in 95 low and middle-income countries, the company is simultaneously filing patents in dozens of other nations representing nearly half of the global population, raising fresh questions about restricted access, according to a new report.

Such a patent strategy is expected given the potential for the pill, called Paxlovid, to generate significant revenue. Last week, Pfizer forecasted sales of $22 billion this year, although that could rise depending on whether additional contracts are signed or extended with countries not covered by the deal with the Medicines Patent Pool.


The agreement, reached in November, was heralded as only the second instance in which a company that manufactures a Covid-19 medical product had signed an accord with the public health organization, which is backed by the United Nations. The deal will make it possible for generic manufacturers to sub-license rights and sell their versions to countries that represent 53% of the global population.

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