TWO ANTIVIRAL DRUGS look to be among the FIRST SET of EFFECTIVE ORAL TREATMENTS for COVID-19 ESSENTIALLY to keep people AWAY from hospitals.
For more I have Doctor Kim Seung-taek from Institut Pasteur Korea.
Welcome back Doctor Kim.
I also have Professor Howard Lee from Seoul National University.
Pleasure to have you back Professor Lee.
1) Doctor Kim let's begin with a look at the REPORTED EFFICACY of the two antiviral pills against COVID-19 by Merck and Pfizer.
2) Professor Lee both Merck and Pfizer have REPORTEDLY shared clinical trial results in press releases NOT in scientific articles.
Accordingly critics are claiming there is insufficient data.
What are your thoughts?
3) ((And against this backdrop)) Doctor Kim can these two oral treatments change the course of the globe's fight against the pandemic?
4-1) Professor Lee both Merck and Pfizer have LICENSED their drugs to GENERIC DRUGMAKERS for SUPPLY to low and middle income nations.
What are the implications of this latest event?
4-2) Professor Lee Pfizer has refrained from granting similar permission for its COVID-19 vaccines.
How do you explain its shift in stance for its antiviral pills?
5) Doctor Kim do let us a bit about the process involved in the manufacture of generic versions of these two COVID-19 treatment pills?
6) Doctor Kim how do you respond to calls for a further expansion of the deal to include more countries such as Brazil and Mexico?
7) Professor Lee UNDER the ROYALTY-FREE LICENCE GRANTED by both Merck and Pfizer some 100 low and middle income nations that make up OVER HALF of the world's population will have AFFORDABLE ACCESS to potential COVID-19 medication.
Having said that what NOW are the tasks that need to be tackled to allow for an effective treatment campaign in these countries?
8) Meanwhile Doctor Kim you've kept us quite updated on efforts by local companies to develop their own antiviral pills.
What is the latest on that front as we speak?
9) And Professor Lee what can you tell us about the importance of having a homegrown antiviral pill AND the HURDLES to OVERCOME in the development process?
10) Doctor Kim Celltrion's REGKIRONA was recently approved by the European Union.
How does this monoclonal antibody treatment against COVID-19 COMPARE to the antiviral COVID-19 pills?
11) Professor Lee Korea has reportedly secured some 400-thousand COURSES of the antiviral oral treatment which will be available early next year.
In the meantime what do you propose to ensure a safe and sustainable transition into a new normal?