By Oleg Ceban
The charitable foundation, headed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his ex-wife Melinda announced that it would allocate up to $120 million to facilitate the early arrival in low-income countries of COVID-19 tablets developed by the American pharmaceutical company Merck & Co.
The company recently sent a request to the regulatory body under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – the Food and Drug Administration – for approval of the use of its coronavirus infection pills. The foundation, as stated, intends, in cooperation with its partners, to provide financial support to efforts to develop and reproduce generic drugs of this drug.
“To end this pandemic, we need to ensure that everyone, wherever in the world they live, has access to life-saving medicines,” Melinda Gates is quoted in a statement released by the foundation. “However, the unfair reality is that low-income countries have to expect [to receive] everything from personal protective equipment to vaccines.” The commitments made by the fund, she pointed out, “guarantee that more people in more states will have access to a promising medical drug.” Melinda called on organizations and governments of other countries to follow the example of the foundation.
Merck & Co on October 11 requested permission from the regulator to use its pills in emergency cases for the treatment of COVID-19 with its mild and moderate course in adults at risk of developing this disease into a severe form. The approval process, according to experts, may take several weeks.
The value of the drug, as Dr. Nicholas Kartsonis, senior vice president of the infectious diseases department of the company, told reporters, is that it saves people from having to deal with infusion centers and all related factors. The pills can be taken at home, which, according to their creators, will not only contribute to a speedy cure from a dangerous disease but will also allow unloading hospitals currently filled with seriously ill patients.