More countries will have access to Merck & Co’s COVID-19 pill.
The deal backed by the United Nations will allow nearly 30 drugmakers in Asia, Africa and the Middle east to make a generic version of the drug.
This is an effort to give 105 lower-income countries better access to the antiviral pill.
Merck’s treatment named molnupiravir has been reported to cut the risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 in half, among patients with early signs of the virus.
The antiviral pill can be taken at home.
In October, Merck announced it would allow other drug makers to produce molnupiravir.
Merck will not receive royalties from sales while COVID-19 remains a global health emergency.
Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Emory University, which invented the drug, will not receive royalties during this time either.