Oral COVID-19 treatments will now be manufactured in South Korea as well.
The country's Health Ministry announced Thursday that three domestic companies were chosen to produce low cost versions of MSD's COVID-19 pill, Molnupiravir.
These companies are Celltrion, Hanmi Pharmaceutical, and Dongbang FTL.
The medication is set to be distributed to 1-hundred-and-five low and middle income countries.
Celltrion will manufacture the finished product,. Dongbang FTL will produce the raw materials, and Hanmi Pharmaceutical will make both the ingredients and the finished drug itself.
The Health Minister has vowed to put full support behind the production and distribution of oral COVID-19 pills.
The government also plans on forming and operating a consultative body with related ministries, companies, and associations to ramp up the overall process.
Including the three South Korean companies, a total of 27 drugmakers from eleven countries were chosen to manufacture the drug by a UN-backed public health organization, the Medicines Patent Pool.
Other countries include India, China, Bangladesh and South Africa.
The agency signed a licensing agreement with MSD and Pfizer in 2021 and received applications from companies willing to produce the oral treatment.
The review for selecting generic drug manufacturers for Pfizer's Paxlovid treatment is still on-going.
Choi Min-jung, Arirang News.