Novartis announced Thursday that 15 generic and over-the-counter medicines from its Sandoz unit will be made available at zero-profit to treat the major symptoms of COVID-19 in low-income and lower-middle-income countries. The drugs include those to treat gastro-intestinal illness, acute respiratory symptoms, pneumonia as well as septic shock.
“This initiative builds on our earlier global commitment to keep prices stable for a basket of essential drugs used to treating COVID-19 patients,” remarked Sandoz CEO Richard Saynor. The medicines included in the portfolio are amoxicillin, ceftriaxone, clarithromycin, colchicine, dexamethasone, dobutamine, fluconazole, heparin, levofloxacin, loperamide, pantoprazole, prednisone, prednisolone, salbutamol and vancomycin.
Under the latest initiative, the portfolio of 15 drugs will be available to governments in up to 79 eligible countries during the pandemic and until a vaccine or curative treatment is available. Novartis explained that the medicines were chosen based on clinical relevance and availability to ensure global demand can be met.