Took Them Long Enough

About 3 months ago, I wrote about how Gilead Pharmaceuticals, the company that is trying to sell Remdesivir as a Covid-19 cure, was suppressing another drug that is cheaper to make, and appears to have lower toxicity because it has less time left on its patent.

Well, the news is now beginning to hit the mainstream, if this story from ABC News is a part of a trend:

After initial excitement about the discovery of a promising treatment for some coronavirus patients, executives with Gilead Sciences are now facing harsh criticism over the initial business decisions they’ve made in the midst of a pandemic.

In recent days, state leaders and a government watchdog group have leveled complaints against the company for the price point it set for its antiviral drug remdesivir, a promising treatment shown to diminish recovery time in hospitalized coronavirus patients, and for allegedly not more quickly pursing a potentially cheaper alternative. Gilead holds exclusive manufacturing rights for remdesivir.

“Gilead, on the one hand, has a product that helps people” said Dr. Erin Fox, the senior pharmacy director at the University of Utah. “But on the other hand, it does feel like they’re taking advantage of the situation.”

Seriously, Dr. Fox, taking advantage of the situation is a core business strategy of rat-f%$#s like Gliead.

In a letter to Gilead executives and federal health officials last week, government watchdog group Public Citizen encouraged the company to investigate whether another of its patented antivirals, called GS-441524, could serve as a viable and less expensive substitute to remdesivir, even though it may make the company less money.

The health research experts at Public Citizen, joined in signing the letter by two cancer medicine experts at University of Texas’s MD Anderson Cancer Center, argue that the cheaper drug “is very similar in chemical structure and activity to remdesivir” — and may even “offer significant advantages over remdesivir.” The watchdog group posits that Gilead may be withholding it because its patent expires five years sooner than does remdesivir’s, the company would stand to profit more if remdesivir remained the only available treatment.

“It is unclear why Gilead and federal scientists have not been pursuing GS-441524 as aggressively as remdesivir,” the letter continues, “but we cannot help but note that there are significant financial incentives tied to Gilead’s current patent holdings.”

I would note that there is a thriving black market for GS-441524, because it has been shown to be remarkably effective against an almost universally fatal condition in cats called Feline Infectious Peritonitis, which is caused by a ……… wait for it ……… a corona virus.

Gilead decided not to market GS-441524 to veterinarians because they were looking at human applications, and side-effects on cats might interfere with more lucrative human applications.

Let’s be clear:  Gilead wants to murder your cats.

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