Pfizer CEO says there will be no generic Paxlovid for China

An online pharmacy lists Pfizer’s anti-Covid oral drug Paxlovid for 2,980 yuan per box in Suqian, Jiangsu province, China on December 13, 2022.

CFOTO | Edition of the future | Getty Images

Pfizer is not in talks with Chinese authorities to allow a generic version of its Covid-19 treatment Paxlovid to be used there, but is in discussions over the price of the branded product, chief executive Albert Bourla said on Monday.

Reuters reported on Friday that China was in talks with Pfizer to secure a license that will allow domestic drugmakers to manufacture and distribute a generic version of US company Paxlovid’s Covid-19 antiviral drug in China.

investment related news

Eli Lilly has spent years and billions of dollars searching for an effective drug for Alzheimer's disease.  But success ain't all or nothing for the stock

CNBC Investment Club

Referring to the report, Bourla speaking at JPMorgan’s healthcare conference in San Francisco said: “We are not in discussions. We already have an agreement for local manufacturing of Paxlovid in China. So we have a local partner who will manufacture Paxlovid for us, and then we will sell it to the Chinese market.”

Bourla said the company shipped thousands of treatments in 2022 to China, and in the past two weeks it has increased that number to millions.

On Sunday, China’s Health Care Safety Administration (NHSA) said the country would not include Paxlovid in an update to its list of drugs covered by basic medical insurance plans because the company American cited a high price for the Covid-19 drug.

CNBC Health and Science

Read CNBC’s latest global health coverage:

Bourla said talks with China about future prices for the treatment broke down after China asked for a lower price than Pfizer charges for most lower-middle-income countries.

“They are the second highest economy in the world and I don’t think they should pay less than El Salvador,” Bourla said.

Still, Bourla said the delisting would not affect the company’s operations there until April. He said the company had shipped millions of courses of the drug to China over the past few weeks.

The company could end up selling only to the private market in China, he said.

Pfizer CEO: 2022 was one of the most successful years in our company's history

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *