Profit Before Health Is The American Way
Remdesivir Gets FDA Approval, but WHO Says Drug Ineffective for COVID
Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, dozens of new studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine and its first cousin, chloroquine, against COVID. These studies occurred in China, France, Saudi Arabia, Italy, India, New York and Michigan. However, such proof of hydroxychloroquine’s benefit to patients with COVID has posed an existential threat to Gilead sales throughout the COVID outbreak.
Under federal law, new treatments do not qualify for emergency use authorization if an FDA-approved treatment exists for the same disease. If hydroxychloroquine had been admitted to be effective in COVID patients, Gilead, along with other companies making therapeutics and vaccines for COVID, could not have been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and $70.5 million in taxpayer subsidy. The companies would have had to complete standard safety testing and await FDA approval — meaning less profits, longer runways to market, and an end to the lucrative COVID vaccine gold rush.
As Dr. James Todaro wrote in OmniJournal, Perhaps no other company than Gilead has more to gain in the immediate future from blocking hydroxychloroquine’s usage.
According to the latest update to the NIH COVID webpage, the Treatment Guidelines Panel still recommends doctors give remdesivir to certain hospitalized patients. Since the beginning of the pandemic, as many as 81% of the people on this panel who declared financial conflicts of interest were taking money from Gilead. So far, the NIH panel hasn’t yet updated its recommendation based on the new data from the WHO.