Pfizer coronavirus drug to hit Estonian pharmacies this summer

Drugs.
Drugs. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The European Union's common coronavirus medicines procurement has arrived at a solution, meaning that Pfizer's coronavirus drug will reach Estonia in the third quarter of 2022.

European Union member states have now signed the procurement contract for Pfizer's COVID-19 drug Paxlovid, with Estonia set to take delivery of the first shipment in Q3 of this year, Sander Rajamäe, press representative for the Health Insurance Fund, told ERR.

Estonia has said it wants to procure 4,000 packages of the drug.

The EU is still in talks for procuring Merck's coronavirus drug Molnupiravir in which Estonia is also a participant.

"The European Commission has suggested that Molnupiravir will not be authorized for sale before this fall. The procurement contract will be signed once the sales permit is granted," Rajamäe said.

The EU also wants to buy a drug called Sotrovimab through a joint procurement. The tender is being prepared, while no time frame is available at this time.

Pfizer's Paxlovid needs to be taken in the early stages of the disease over five days. ERR was told in February that the drug will cost the Health Insurance Fund €750 of which the patient has to pay just €2.50. But because Estonia will procure just 4,000 packages instead of the initial 10,000, the price is likely to change.

Paxlovid's active substances are contained in two separate pills that need to be taken together twice a day. The drug is meant for people in risk groups whose chances of serious illness are greater.

ERR reported in spring that the arrival of over-the-counter COVID-19 medicines has been stalled because of the EU joint procurement. It turned out in April that Pfizer has repeatedly offered Estonia the drug but the offers were rejected to wait for the common procurement expected to result in a cheaper price.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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