Factbox: Countries rush to buy experimental antiviral COVID-19 pills

Dec 30 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week authorised Merck's (MRK.N) antiviral COVID-19 pill for high-risk adult patients, a day after giving a broader go-ahead to a similar but more effective treatment from Pfizer (PFE.N). read more

In the last week, Japan and India have also recommended approval of Merck's experimental pill - which has already been approved in Britain, Denmark and the Philippines, among others - while South Korea on Monday authorised Pfizer's treatment for emergency use. read more

Merck has signed deals to sell about nine million courses of its treatment to governments around the world, but on Dec. 22 France became the first country to publicly say it had cancelled its order following disappointing trial data. It hopes instead to receive Pfizer's drug before the end of January. read more

In the European Union, both treatments are under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), though the regulator has said they can be used in adults ahead of any wider recommendation.

The following tables list countries that have expressed interest in Merck or Pfizer pills, sorted alphabetically:

($1 = 85.4800 taka)

Reporting by Ina Kreutz, Agnieszka Gosciak and Federica Urso; Editing by Milla Nissi and Barbara Lewis

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