The Virus-fighting Big Pharma elixir is based on an HIV treatment. Weird.
On March 25, TASS reported Russian pharmaceutical company Pharmasyntez, which produces Sputnik Light, was applying to manufacture a COVID drug based on a combination of nirmatrelvir and ritonavir.
At the end of 2021, Russia’s health ministry included this drug combo on its list of approved COVID treatments.
“Nirmatrelvir and ritonavir” is an antiviral drug developed by Pfizer under the brand name Paxlovid.
The Big Pharma behemoth has partnered with dozens of generic drugmakers around the world in order to supply 95 countries with the medication, which allegedly reduces COVID-attributed hospitalizations for “high-risk” individuals by 90%.
Pfizer, which negotiated a deal with the UN-backed Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), will not receive royalties from the sale of the generic versions of Paxlovid. Because Pfizer cares.
In November, the Russian government granted approval to Pfizer to run clinical trials for Paxlovid in Russia. Pfizer recently halted all clinical trials in Russia in response to the “special operation” in Ukraine.
It’s unclear if Pharmasyntez even has formal authorization from Pfizer to produce a generic version of Paxlovid.
Last year, Gilead filed a lawsuit against the Russian government for granting a license to Pharmasyntez to produce remdesivir, another “safe and effective” COVID treatment.
Here’s what we do know, though: nothing will stop Russia from pushing Pfizer pills—not even unprecedented sanctions. That’s true commitment.