A critical care doctor has said it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money for the U.S. government to purchase drug company Merck’s anti-viral treatment for COVID-19, if it’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Dr. Pierre Kory, president and chief medical officer of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), said there’s no reason for the Biden administration to “enrich Merck for a drug, which has already been the source of a whistleblower complaint, and which has already failed in hospitalized patients” when ivermectin, a “low cost, safe, widely available [drug that] has proven to work in many phases of the disease, not only as outpatients but inpatients” is ready to be distributed to Americans.
“And yet we plan on giving money to a drug company for a drug that is in no way going to surpass what we already have available right now and can use. That money should instead be given to supply ivermectin to the country,” Kory said in a video on June 14.
Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on June 9 that the Biden administration and Merck had entered into a $1.2 billion agreement for the pharmaceutical company to supply 1.7 million courses of molnupiravir, its COVID-19 anti-viral treatment, pending FDA approval or emergency use authorization (EUA).
Molnupiravir, also known as MK-4482, is an oral drug developed in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. It has the potential to inhibit “the replication of multiple RNA viruses including SARS-CoV-2,” and has “shown to be active in several models of SARS-CoV-2, including for prophylaxis, treatment, and prevention of transmission,” according to a statement by Merck.
SARS-CoV-2 is the scientific name for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus that causes the disease COVID-19.
The drug’s potential to reduce the risk of death or hospitalization is being assessed in an ongoing phase three trial that plans to enroll 1,850 non-hospitalized patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. The final data is expected to be released as early as this fall.
However, a phase three trial to examine the drug in hospitalized patients was scrapped after findings from phase two showed molnupiravir was unlikely to demonstrate any clinical benefit.
A month prior to releasing its preliminary findings on molnupiravir, Merck released a statement in February 2021 against the use of ivermectin for COVID-19. The company had developed the drug in the 1980s and held a patent until 1996, and said the available data didn’t support the efficacy and safety of ivermectin beyond what the FDA had approved it for.
Kory said Merck’s statement on ivermectin is untrue and hurts patients.
“I need to call attention to how disturbed I am at Merck,” Kory said, adding that the company “issued a statement that there was no evidence to support the efficacy of ivermectin.”
“They even called into question the safety of one of the safest drugs known in history. That statement was a lie. That was a lie, and it’s hurting patients and it’s caused an incalculable loss of life.”
Merck and the HHS did not respond to requests for comment…..