Bangladesh’s Beximco Pharmaceuticals announced that it will begin selling generic versions of Merck’s Covid-19 antiviral drug with local regulatory approval.
The announcement commemorates the launch of the world’s first generic version of Molnupiravir, a tablet of Merck & Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, touted as a potential game changer in the fight against the coronavirus.
Molnupiravir received the first worldwide regulatory approval in the UK last week. It is still under consideration in the US and Europe.
Beximco said in a statement that it will soon launch a cheaper version of Merck’s branded pill, Generic Mornupyrabir, after receiving an emergency use authorization from Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Pharmaceutical Control. He added that exports rely on global regulatory approvals.
Merck did not immediately respond to the request for comment.
US pharmaceutical companies have signed Molnupiravir license agreements with at least eight Indian pharmaceutical companies with the aim of turning South Asian countries into manufacturing hubs that supply low- and middle-income countries.
These include Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Cipla, Sun Pharma, Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Emcure Pharmaceuticals, Hetero and more.
Beximco said it does not expect generic Mornu Piraville sales to significantly boost revenue given the currently low Covid-19 infection rates in Bangladesh, which borders India.
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