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Merck signs agreement with UNICEF to supply 3 million drug therapies against COVID

Merck & Co. Inc and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said Tuesday they have signed an agreement with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to supply up to 3 million therapies of its antiviral pill against COVID-19.

Merck will offer the pill, molnupiravir, to UNICEF during the first half of 2022 for distribution in more than 100 low- and middle-income countries, with appropriate regulatory clearances, the companies said.

The pill received authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December and has also been approved in several other nations, including India, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Many countries have signed supply agreements with Merck for the drug.

Merck said in January that it expects molnupiravir to be effective against the omicron variant of the virus, which has led to a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations around the world.


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