How Paxlovid Approval May Influence China's Pandemic Policies
New Focus on Treatments Not Vaccines?
In a surprise move, China has conditionally approved Pfizer’s oral COVID-19 antiviral Paxlovid, a development that may have far-reaching consequences for the country's pandemic policies and domestic drug developers.
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The latest policies from Beijing show that the Chinese government is readying its own new vaccines and drugs for COVID-19 in a bid to gradually ease some of the strictest pandemic restrictions globally, but progress is mixed and domestic reported infections are surging to their highest level since March 2020.
From orphan to cancer drugs, more products have had their prices cut in the latest round of reimbursement negotiations in China. Although the 60% average across 100 medicines was considered mild given it didn’t go beyond the previous year, it was still chilling and is prompting more firms, both multinational and domestic, to walk away from the process.
For the first time in 61 years, China has reported its population is shrinking and the new demographic shift is likely to have a far-reaching impact on the pharma sector. Meanwhile, regulators have accelerated the approval of new COVID-19 drugs to relieve acute shortages.