Merck, Pfizer Rebuts China's Request For Further Price Cuts For COVID-19 Drugs

  • Merck & Co Inc MRK and Pfizer Inc PFE have reportedly signaled that they have not agreed to a request by the Chinese authorities for deeper price cuts for COVID-19 treatments.
  • Merck's Lagevrio (molnupiravir) will sell in China for 1,500 yuan ($221) per bottle, local media outlet Jiemian reported, saying that's lower than the cost in many western countries.
  • In a statement Wednesday on its official WeChat account, Merck said it was in talks with its state-owned partner, Sinopharm, to enable local manufacturing. 
  • The apparent rebuff coincides with a similar deadlock over Pfizer's antiviral Paxlovid, writes Bloomberg.
  • Related: Pfizer Rebuts Generic Version Of COVID-19 Oral Treatment In China, Says It's Not A Poor Country.
  •  The lack of treatment supply has also intensified public anger that the Chinese government did not adequately prepare for its abrupt shift in virus control.
  • At a briefing in Beijing, Huang Xinyu, an official with the National Healthcare Security Administration, said it is regrettable that Paxlovid didn't get coverage due to pricing factors. Still, provisional measures will ensure it's reimbursed through the end of March. 
  • Price Action: PFE shares closed at $47.62 on Tuesday. MRK shares are down 0.28% at $110.50 during the premarket session on the last check Wednesday.
  • Photo via Wikimedia Commons
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Posted In: BiotechLarge CapNewsHealth CareGeneralBriefsCOVID-19 Coronavirus
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