Following Beijing’s decision to provide the clearances needed to produce and supply the Covid-19 drug in the country, Pfizer could begin manufacturing Paxlovid in China through a local partner within three to four months.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said on Monday that a local contract manufacturer was preparing to start production as demand for the oral antiviral treatment skyrocketed due to a supply shortage in China.Pfizer signed an agreement with Zhejiang Huahai last year to produce Paxlovid for Chinese patients.
Pfizer is increasing shipments of Paxlovid to China from its manufacturing sites outside the country to address the medication’s severe supply shortage.
According to Bourla, Pfizer only supplied a few thousand courses of Paxlovid to China in 2022. During December and the first week of January, that number increased to millions of courses, he added.
Because of the high price quoted by Pfizer, China’s National Healthcare Security Administration said on Sunday that it would not include Paxlovid in a list of medicines covered by basic medical insurance.