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Gates Foundation To Spend $120M On Access For COVID-19 Pill

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FILE - This May 5, 2019 file photo shows Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in Omaha, Neb. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says it will spend $120 million to boost access to generic versions of drugmaker Merck’s antiviral COVID-19 pill in lower income countries, if the drug gets approved by regulators. The private foundation said in a statement released Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 it hasn’t determined how it will allocate the money, but will use the funds to “support the range of activities required to develop and manufacture generic versions” of the drug, molnupiravir. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

(AP) – The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says it will spend $120 million to boost access to generic versions of drugmaker Merck’s antiviral COVID-19 pill for lower income countries, if the drug gets approved by regulators. The private foundation says it will use the funds to “support the range of activities required to develop and manufacture generic versions” of the drug, molnupiravir. The foundation says it hasn’t determine how it will allocate the money. Merck has licensed its technology with generic drug manufacturers in India. The company has said it will provide licenses to manufacturers to supply the drug to India and more than 100 other lower and middle income countries.

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