Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis has announced that its Sandoz division will provide a portfolio of 15 not-for-profit generic and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to developing countries to treat the patients with Covid-19 symptoms.
Novartis has said that it will provide medicines to governments, NGOs and other institutional customers in up to 79 eligible nations until a vaccine or curative treatment is available.
Eligible countries should feature in the World Bank’s list of low-income and lower-middle-income, said the Swiss firm.
Novartis Global Health Chief Operating Officer Dr Lutz Hegemann said: “Access to medicine can be a challenge for patients in low- and lower-middle-income countries and the situation has worsened during Covid-19.
“With our Covid-19 portfolio, we wish to help address the additional healthcare demands of the pandemic in the countries we are targeting.”
The patients with Covid-19 are known to face inflammation and respiratory problems that can result in severe medical complications and even death.
Novartis said that its Covid-19 portfolio of medicines can be used for treating gastro-intestinal illness, severe respiratory symptoms, pneumonia and septic shock.
The portfolio of medicines includes Amoxicillin, Ceftriaxone, Clarithromycin, Colchicine, Dexamethasone, Dobutamine, Fluconazole, Heparin, Levofloxacin, Loperamide, Pantoprazole, Prednisone, Prednisolone, Salbutamol and Vancomycin.
The medicines are said to be selected based on clinical relevance and availability to meet the global demand.
Sandoz CEO Richard Saynor said: “This initiative builds on our earlier global commitment to keep prices stable for a basket of essential drugs used to treating Covid-19 patients.
“The Covid-19 Response Portfolio for low-income and lower-middle-income countries is designed to support governments in treating Covid-19 symptoms before they lead to complications in patients.”
The portfolio of medicines will be provided in addition to the Novartis Access portfolio through the local affiliate of Novartis or Sandoz.