- Serge Paul Eholié, Professor of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Treichville University Teaching Hospital
- Carol Holtzman, Senior COVID Technical Advisor, USAID
- David Ripin, Executive Vice President of Infectious Diseases and Chief Science Officer, Clinton Health Access Initiative
- Janeen Madan Keller, Deputy Director of Global Health Policy and Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development
- Morgan Pincombe, Program Coordinator, Center for Global Development
- Javier Guzman, Director of Global Health Policy and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development
This event will be broadcast in English and French
Following promising clinical trial results, the first oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19 received emergency use authorization in late 2021. Since then, manufacturers, global health funders, and other partners have focused on ramping up global supply, including via test-and-treat pilot programs. Still, access to these treatments remains highly concentrated in wealthier countries.
Demand in lower-income countries has been extremely low, due in large part to limited data and evidence, lack of generic products, unaffordable prices, and inadequate resources for delivery and deployment. To date, three generic versions of oral treatments have achieved prequalification by the World Health Organization. Yet low demand may persist, as COVID-19 cases and deaths have generally trended downward, apart from the recent spike in China.
Looking ahead, uncertainty—and unfavorable perceptions—about the need, benefits, and costs of these treatments raise important questions about whether they provide the best value for money compared to other medical countermeasures. Maximizing the health and economic impact of these treatments may require a shift in strategy as COVID-19 becomes an endemic disease, fiscal pressures squeeze budgets, and additional evidence emerges on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of other COVID-19 interventions.
Join the Center for Global Development for a virtual panel discussion, drawing from recent work, on how COVID-19 treatments should play into the pandemic response going forward.