July 04, 2020 "Information
Clearing House" -
The U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services has recently “bought” all
of Gilead Science’s Remdesivir for $1.6 billion. “500,000
doses at $3,200 per patient – to be available
to American hospitals but not for other countries”
billion tax dollars for a virtually untested
drug showing only marginal efficacy in the hospital
How could such a thing
If you believe an urgent call from the Yale School of
Public Health that was recently published in the
American Journal of
Epidemiology— the top epidemiology journal in
America — hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) + azithromycin is the
quickest and most effective way to halt the Covid-19
According to this Yale statement, hydroxychloroquine
– a cheap, natural anti-malarial tree-bark known as
quinine for 400 years – is highly effective during Phase
1 of Covid-19, while the virus is loading into the body.
As the first line of defense, it should be
immediately, freely, and widely available to symptomatic
high-risk patients – through doctors’ offices,
outpatient clinics, and hospitals across the land.
Indeed, under the directorship of Dr. Anthony
Fauci, a National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases (NIAID) a clinical trial had been
launched on May 14 to look into it.
The HCQ + azithromycin protocol is being used
successfully by France’s top, award-winning
microbiologist, Dr. Didier Raoult. He
is director of the Infectious and Tropical Emergent
Diseases Research Unit in Marseille (Institut
Hospitalo-Universitaire) (IHU), with 200 staff. Raoult,
now almost a celebrity in France, has recently published
his protocol and results, showing an overall 1.1% case
The same protocol has also been highly successful in
China, India, Senegal, and Brazil.
So why suddenly is the U.S. government and the media
ignoring recommendations from these top
specialists, and waiting, instead, until people get
very sick and hospitalized to treat them with the
relatively untested drug, Remdesivir, which is
Why has the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services just bought up all the Remdesivir it could
order – 500,000 doses at $3,200 per patient – to be
available to American hospitals but not for other
To put Remdesivir’s cost in perspective, the CDC
reports that the flu vaccine costs from $12-$18 a
The government, in order to justify its mind-boggling
price, would need to show exceptional efficacy in saving
lives. Efficacy, that is, once the disease has been
allowed, through failure to use the HCQ +
azithromycinearly preventive approach, to advance to
Phase 2 (the dangerous inflammatory period) and Phase 3
(ICU ventilator intubation, often leading to death).
What do studies say about the efficacy of
There are three main studies that have examined
remdesivir as a treatment for Covid-19:
- The first, a study of seriously ill patients,
was originally reported in the
New England Journal
of Medicine on April 10, 2020. Treated with
“compassionate-use” remdesivir, clinical improvement
was observed in 36 of 53 patients (68%).
The article was co-authored by 56 people, some of
whom were on the staff of remdesivir’s producer, Gilead
Sciences. The study was funded by Gilead, and writing
assistance was provided by David McNeel,
also of Gilead.
The following day, April 11, the Science Media Centre
published expert reactions to the compassionate study
from five British university professors. These
assessments were not encouraging: “the research doesn’t
prove anything at this point;” “the data is almost
uninterpretable;” the research should be treated “with
- A Wuhan, China randomized, double-blind,
placebo-controlled trial of 237 patients was
accidentally leaked by the World Health Organization
and published in The
Lancet. It showed no statistically significant
clinical benefits from remdesivir:
“The antiviral medicine remdesivir from Gilead
Sciences failed to speed the improvement of patients
with Covid-19 or prevent them from dying, according to
results from a long-awaited clinical trial conducted in
This Lancet study
also found that some 14% of patients in the treatment
group died after 28 days, compared to 13% in the group
that did not receive the treatment.
And it further reported that “remdesivir was stopped
early because of adverse events in 18 (12%) patients
versus four (5%) patients who stopped placebo
- The preliminary results of a NIAID remdesivir
trial of 1063 patients showed a “modest” benefit in
a controlled clinical trial:
“The infected people who received remdesivir, an
experimental drug made by Gilead Sciences that cripples
an enzyme several viruses use to copy their RNA,
recovered in an average of 11 days versus 15 in patients
who received a placebo. ‘Although a 31% improvement
doesn’t seem like a knockout, 100% [success], it is a
very important proof of concept,’ said Anthony Fauci,
head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Health Policy Watch reported
that “the death rate was 8% in the group that received
remdesivir compared to 11.6% in the control group,
although this result was not statistically significant.”
Dr. Fauci told reporters that “what [this trial] has
proven is that a drug can block the virus.”
The excerpt below from a June 24 article in the
British Medical Journal assesses
the problems in the foregoing studies. (One of the four
co-authors, Fiona Godlee, is the editor-in-chief of the
“A serious imbalance in covid-19 research
strongly favours the study of drug treatments over
non-drug interventions, with many studies too small
or too weak to produce reliable results. Equally
concerning is the release of partial or preliminary
findings before peer review—often through commercial
press releases—that is distorting public
perceptions, ongoing evaluations efforts, and
political responses to the pandemic.
Remdesivir is a key example. The antiviral drug,
made by US company Gilead, was unapproved at the
start of the pandemic, but in early April the
New England Journal
of Medicine published a small descriptive study
of a compassionate use scheme for patients with
covid-19. Gilead funded the study, a third of the
authors were Gilead employees, and Gilead’s press
release reported “clinical improvement in 68% of
patients in this limited dataset.” Despite being a
non-randomised, uncontrolled, company funded study
of just 53 patients, media headlines described
“hopeful” signs and reported “two thirds” of
patients showing improvement.
Two weeks later, the
a randomised placebo controlled trial of remdesivir
from China, finding no statistically significant
clinical benefit in the primary outcome of time to
clinical improvement. Twelve per cent of
participants taking remdesivir stopped treatment
early because of adverse events, compared with 5%
taking placebo. The trial was stopped before meeting
To summarize, the only study demonstrating even
marginal efficacy for remdesivir shows it to reduce
hospital recovery times 31%, from 15 days to 11 days.
What is the justification for spending $3,200 tax
dollars per Covid-19 patient to save four days in
hospital, unless it is to shorten hospital stays,
thereby saving the average U.S. bed cost of
approximately $2000 per day, while delaying hospital
saturation that could leave some people untreated to
Leaving people untreated to die could cause civil
unrest, which may be the covert political reason for
spending the $1.6 trillion.
None of the studies mention side effects of the drug.
In the China study, kidney injury led to discontinuation
for one patient, and in its use for ebola, liver risks
How much does it cost to produce remdesivir?
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER)
is a non-profit organization seeking to improve
healthcare value through clinical and cost-effective
In a May 1, 2020 study, the ICER calculated that the
cost of producing the remdesivir “final finished
product,” including the pharmaceutical ingredients,
formulation, packaging, and a small profit margin, was
$9.32 US for a 10-day course of treatment. They rounded
this up to $10.
Dr. Fauci’s NIAID Clinical Trial Evaluating
Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin Closes Early
On June 20, 2020, nine days before the Department of
Health and Human Services announced its $1.6 trillion
purchase of remdesivir on June 29, its NIAID branch
closed a clinical trial that had been launched May 14 to
investigate whether the inexpensive combination,
hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin, might be an
effective treatment when given early in the course of
The Department of Health and Human Services knew that
hydroxychloroquine (aka chloroquine) was effective
against coronavirus because chloroquine was tested
against the SARS-1 virus during the outbreak in 2002.
This work was written up in 2005, under the auspices of
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, which
reports to the Department of Human Health and
Truth, as the saying goes, is stranger than fiction.
Who was responsible for this debacle?
Dr. Fauci has served in the National Institutes of
Health under six presidents.
Were these bizarre decisions carried out under his
authority? Or were they forced upon him from higher up?
Or has he become a victim of regulatory capture by
the drug industry?
Whatever the answer, this unprecedented fleecing of
the American public should have been shouted from the
rooftops, had there been a functioning US media.
 Harvey A. Risch, “Early
Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk Covid-19
Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to
the Pandemic Crisis,”
Amer. J. Epid, 27 May 2020 (https://academic.oup.com/aje/advance-article/doi/10.1093/aje/kwaa093/5847586).
Risch is Professor at the Yale Schools of both Medicine
and Public Health.
 National Institute of
Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “NIH Begins Clinical
Trial of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin to Treat
COVID-19,” 14 May 2020 (https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/nih-begins-clinical-trial-hydroxychloroquine-and-azithromycin-treat-covid-19).
 Jean-Christophe Lagier,
et al, “Outcomes of 3,737 COVID-19 patients treated with
hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin and other regimens in
Marseille, France: A retrospective analysis,”
Travel Medicine and
Infectious Disease, 25 June 2020 (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1477893920302817).
Rault has 2,300 indexed medical journals in print.
 The group “COVEXIT.com –
News About Hydroxychloroquine & Other COVID-19
Treatments,” was founded March 29, 2020 by Jean-Pierre
Kiekens. It keeps daily track of successful Covid
treatments worldwide (https://www.facebook.com/groups/covexit)
 Elizabeth Woodworth,
“The Media Sabotage of Hydroxychloroquine Use for
COVID-19: Doctors Worldwide Protest the Disaster,”
Global Research, 30
June 2020 (https://www.globalresearch.ca/media-sabotage-hydroxychloroquine-covid-19-doctors-worldwide-protest-disaster/5717382).
 US Department of Health
and Human Services, “Trump Administration Secures New
Supplies of Remdesivir for the United States,” June 29,
 Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, Vaccines for Children Program,
“CDC Vaccine Price List,” updated 1 July 2020 (https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/awardees/vaccine-management/price-list/index.html#adflu).
 Dr. Raoult identified
the three stages of Covid-19 while treating 3,737
patients with HCQ+azithromycin at his own clinic: “At
the first viral stage, one must give medicines against
the virus, in the second inflammatory phase, one needs
to give medications against that [inflammatory]
reaction, and then in the third phase, it’s work to be
done in intensive care units.” Summarized from Didier
Raoult, at: “The Marx Brothers are Doing Science: the
Example of RECOVERY,” 9 June 2020 (http://covexit.com/professor-raoult-compares-the-oxford-recovery-trial-academics-to-the-marx-brothers/).
 Jonathan Grein, and 55
other authors, “Compassionate Use of Remdesivir for
Patients with Severe Covid-19,”
New England Journal of
Medicine, 11 June 2020
“Editor’s Note: This
article was published on April 10, 2020, at NEJM.org.”
 Jason D. Goldman, et
al., “Remdesivir for 5 or 10 days in Patients with
Severe Covid,” New
England Journal of Medicine, no date in header (https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa2015301?articleTools=true).
Sidebar:“This article was
published on May 27, 2020, at NEJM.org.”
 Prof. Duncan Richards
et al., “Expert reaction to a study about compassionate
use of remdesivir for patients with severe COVID-19,”
Science Media Centre,
11 April 2020 (https://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-a-study-about-compassionate-use-of-remdesivir-for-patients-with-severe-covid-19/).
 Ed Silverman, et al,
“New data on Gilead’s remdesivir, released by accident,
show no benefit for coronavirus patients. Company still
sees reason for hope,”
StatNews, 23 April 2020 (https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/23/data-on-gileads-remdesivir-released-by-accident-show-no-benefit-for-coronavirus-patients/).
 Yeming Wang, et al.,
“Remdesivir in adults with severe COVID-19: a
randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled,
multicentre trial,” The
Lancet, 16 May 2020 (original online publication 29
April 2020) (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31022-9/fulltext).
 Jon Cohen, “Large trial
yields strongest evidence yet that antiviral drug can
help COVID-19 patients,”
Science, 29 April 2020 (https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/04/large-trial-yields-strongest-evidence-yet-antiviral-drug-can-help-covid-19-patients).
 Grace Ren, “Conflicting
Remdesivir Trial Results Released; Experts Urge More
Research,” Health Policy
Watch, 29 April 2020 (https://healthpolicy-watch.news/first-remdesivir-rct-shows-no-significant-clinical-benefit-for-severe-covid-19-patients-but-experts-urge-for-more-research/).
 Christopher Rowland,
“Gilead’s experimental drug remdesivir shows ‘hopeful’
signs in small group of coronavirus patients,”
Washington Post, 10
April 2020 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/10/gileads-experimental-drug-remdesivir-shows-hopeful-signs-small-group-coronavirus-patients/).
 Ray Moynihan et
al.,“Commercial influence and covid-19,”
(Published 24 June 2020) (https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m2456).
 Crystal Phend,
“Remdesivir Safety Forecast: Watch the Liver, Kidneys,”
Medpage Today, 19
May 2020 (https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/86582).
 Melanie D. Whittington
and Jonathan B. Campbell, “Alternative Pricing Models
for Remdesivir and Other Potential Treatments for
COVID-19,” Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, 1
May 2020 (https://icer-review.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/ICER-COVID_Initial_Abstract_05012020-3.pdf).
 National Institute of
Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “BULLETIN—NIH Clinical
Trial Evaluating Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin for
COVID-19 Closes Early,” 20 June 2020 (https://www.niaid.nih.gov/news-events/bulletin-nih-clinical-trial-evaluating-hydroxychloroquine-and-azithromycin-covid-19).
 Martin J. Vincent et
al., “Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS
coronavirus infection and spread,”
Journal of Virology,
22 August 2005 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1232869/).
 “Regulatory capture is
a theory that regulatory agencies may be dominated by
the interests they regulate and not by the public
interest.” In: Will Kenton, “Regulatory Capture,”
October 2019 (https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/regulatory-capture.asp).
The original source of this article is Global
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