Reaction to the approval of first oral antiviral for COVID-19

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In response to the approval of first oral antiviral for COVID-19 Lagevrio (molnupiravir) by the UK's Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), Anna Marriott health policy manager for Oxfam and policy lead for the People's Vaccine Alliance said:

“The British public are lucky to have access to such a range of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. But for most of the world, they remain out of reach, as COVID rages through developing countries.

“It’s astounding that, after five million deaths from COVID, vital new treatments are still being locked behind intellectual property.

“‘Merck has agreed to license its medicine with generic producers in some of the poorest countries which is good, but it leaves out middle-income countries like Brazil which will have to pay whatever price Merck chooses to charge. Meanwhile the UK and Germany are leading the way in blocking access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments in poorer parts of the world by refusing to agree a waiver of intellectual property rules for all COVID-19 technologies."

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