Though domestic supplies of Paxlovid, a COVID-19 treatment developed by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer, cannot meet demand in China at the moment, authorities are in talks with the company to facilitate the local manufacturing of the drug, a medical expert said on Wednesday.
Wang Guiqiang, head of the infectious disease department at Peking University's First Hospital, said that the latest COVID-19 control protocol includes five antiviral medications for the disease.
Among them, oral pills — also known as small molecule drugs — are in high demand as China continues to battle infections and promote the use of such drugs to reduce the number of severe cases.
In addition to Paxlovid, Wang said the homegrown Azvudine treatment has already been used in clinical treatments. Molnupiravir, a COVID-19 drug developed by US pharmaceutical company Merck that just gained market approval in China on Dec 30, is not in use yet.
He added that domestically developed COVID-19 pills are also in the pipeline, with some leading candidates undergoing or nearly finishing third-stage clinical trials.