China has given nod for the sale of Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill, Paxlovid, in the mainland.
It comes after Beijing decided to move away from its stringent ‘zero-COVID’ policy in the wake of protests.
China Meheco Group, the healthcare platform which has been selling the oral COVID drug, recently said that it has signed an agreement with Pfizer to import and distribute the medicine.
The agreement is valid between 14th December and 30th November, 2023, China Meheco said in a filing to the Shanghai stock exchange.
Earlier, Paxlovid was made available through Chinese hospitals to treat high-risk patients in several provinces. However, now, it is available for retail sale.
Earlier this week, China Meheco started selling Paxlovid in what appeared to be the first retail sale of the drug in the country. Within an hour, the two-drug oral treatement was sold out within half an hour.
Responding to the matter, Dr Ashish Jha, Coronavirus Response Coordinator, White House, also said that the Biden administration “was not involved in any way” in the approval process and welcomed other countries benefitting from American innovation.
“Since the beginning of this administration, the president has been very clear that we think it’s really important for the world to benefit from the fruits of American scientific innovation,” he said.
“The president’s been very clear. We stand ready to help any country that needs help in terms of vaccines, treatments, anything else. So, that offer stands globally for any country that could benefit,” he added.
Edits by EP News Bureau