Merck's experimental Covid-19 pill: Which countries have expressed interest?

(REUTERS) – Merck has signed nine deals to sell more than about 3 million courses in total of its experimental Covid-19 pill molnupiravir to governments around the world as nations scramble to tame the pandemic.

While the drug’s approval in the United States is still pending, Britain on Thursday (Nov 4) became the first country in the world to approve the pill.

Last week the company reached a deal with the United Nations-backed Medicines Patent Pool that will allow more companies to manufacture generic versions of the pill with a royalty-free licence applying to 105 low- and middle-income countries.

So far Merck has agreed to license the drug to several India-based generic drugmakers.

The company said it plans to produce 10 million courses of the treatment by the end of this year, with at least 20 million set to be manufactured in 2022.

Here’s a list of countries and regions that have already expressed interest in the pill, sorted alphabetically:

1. Australia: 300,000 doses

2. EU

3. France: 50,000 doses

4. Indonesia

5. Malaysia: 150,000 courses

6. Philippines: 300,000 courses

7. Singapore

8. South Korea: 20,000 courses

9. Thailand: 200,000 courses

10. Britain: 480,000 courses

11. US: 1.7 million courses

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