(AP) — Pharmaceutical company Merck has agreed to allow other drug makers worldwide to make its COVID-19 treatment, the first pill that has been shown to be effective against the disease. The move aims at helping millions of people in poorer countries access to the drug. The U.N.-backed Medicines Patent Pool said in a statement on Wednesday that it had signed a voluntary licensing agreement for molnupiravir with Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. The deal will allow the Medicines Patent Pool to grant further licenses to qualified companies wishing to make the drug. Neither drug maker will receive royalties under the agreement for as long as the World Health Organization deems COVID-19 to be global emergency.