China’s first domestic oral anti-COVID-19 drug is priced at less than 300 yuan per bottle/35 tablets
Published: Aug 07, 2022 01:50 PM Updated: Aug 07, 2022 01:51 PM
drugs Photo: VCG
drugs Photo: VCG

China's first domestically developed oral drug for COVID-19 treatment has set its initial price at less than 300 yuan ($44.4) per bottle, as observers said the drug will help ensure more Chinese families access to COVID-19 treatment.

Azvudine, produced by Genuine Biotech Limited, based in Central China's Henan Province, contains 35 tablets per bottle with 1 milligram per tablet. The price per bottle has been set at less than 300 yuan, reported Henan Daily on Sunday.

Observers said the approval of Azvudine, sold at less than 1,000 yuan per course, will ensure more Chinese families can have access to COVID-19 treatment as other approved drugs have caused controversy on Chinese social media with some netizens concerned that the prices might be too expensive for many families to afford.

China approved Pfizer's COVID-19 pill Paxlovid and the domestic neutralizing antibody therapy BRII-196/BRII-198 for COVID-19 treatment. Paxlvoid is sold at about 2,400 yuan per course and the BRII-196/BRII-198 therapy costs 10,000 yuan for one course of treatment.

The drug was officially put into production on Tuesday. The Chinese National Medical Products Administration granted conditional approval to Azvudine for COVID-19 treatment on July 25.

The drug is the first Chinese-made oral antiviral drug to treat COVID-19, media reports said.

Media reports said Genuine Biotech is able to produce 6.8 billion pills of Azvudine a year, which is enough to treat 200 million people.

More than 10 domestically developed oral drugs for COVID-19 treatment are currently being researched and developed.

Among them, the VV116, an oral anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleoside candidate jointly developed by the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Wuhan Institute of Virolog, was approved for emergency use and got authorization from the Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan in December, 2021, and has since been officially approved for marketing in Uzbekistan.

Global Times