Novartis promises zero profit for 15 symptomatic COVID-19 drugs in low-income countries

Novartis’ generic hydroxychloroquine may have little use in COVID-19, but the Swiss pharma still wants to contribute its low-cost drugs in some way in the current fight.

Novartis’ Sandoz unit will offer 15 generic and over-the-counter medicines at zero profit to developing countries during the pandemic, the company said Thursday.

The portfolio covers widely used antibiotics and anti-inflammatory therapies, as well as meds for cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases. Most notably, it includes dexamethasone, a corticosteroid that scientists in the U.K. recently found to be able to cut COVID-19 death rates in severely ill patients.