A good portion of this blog takes on Big Pharma for their funding of misleading public information campaigns and programs against drug importation and the practice of safe international online pharmacies. Much of their messaging tries to convey that you can’t find their medications online at lower cost from other countries safely. Because of the work we do, we know for a fact that claim is ridiculous and independent research backs that up entirely. That’s why when I read information on Gilead’s website about remdesivir, which is a promising new treatment for Covid-19, having to do with buying medication online it hit me hard that I totally agreed with them. They wrote that authentic remdesivir is not available online. Sadly, we will see charlatans popping up to offer it over the Internet.
Remdesivir is a drug that was granted Emergency Use Authorization to treat people in a hospital setting with serious symptoms of the Covid-19, but it is not yet an FDA-approved drug for any indication. Longer and more involved clinical trials are still necessary for the drug to obtain full approval. Emergency use was granted because initial trials have led to faster recoveries and shorter stays in the hospital among people with Covid-19.
But, hey, Gilead’s right: you cannot get remdesivir online in the U.S., Canada, India or anywhere. For those of you who are in the weeds on this, and know that remdesivir is approved in Japan, please also know that it still can’t be purchased on the Internet!
The fight will continue between American consumers and large pharmaceutical companies. Drug prices must come down and people should be able to buy cheaper medications from other countries online, especially when they cannot afford them here. Also, $70 million of taxpayer money have gone to Gilead for clinical trials, helping make the argument that once remdesivir is approved, it must be reasonably priced. Check out Politico for this discussion.
But I’m writing this in a spirit of camaraderie. Medical professionals and scientists, including those at Gilead, (not lobbyists) are working hard trying to develop treatments and vaccines to defeat this killer virus. Rogue online pharmacies and other snake oil salesmen will take advantage of the global pandemic to profit off of desperate, very scared people. We all want to stop them. While Gilead is a shining example of unsustainable and even unforgivable drug prices, where I can find common ground and cause in this sorrowful time to come together to save countless lives, I’m in.