Federal Researchers Publish Preliminary Results From Remdesivir Trial; WHO Pauses Use Of Hydroxychloroquine In Global Study; Nations Take Actions On Experimental COVID-19 Treatments

New York Times: Federal Scientists Finally Publish Remdesivir Data
“Nearly a month after federal scientists claimed that an experimental drug had helped patients severely ill with the coronavirus, the research has been published. … The long-awaited study, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on The New England Journal of Medicine website on Friday evening. It confirms the essence of the government’s assertions: Remdesivir shortened recovery time from 15 days to 11 days in hospitalized patients. The study defined recovery as ‘either discharge from the hospital or hospitalization’…” (Kolata, 5/23).

POLITICO: World Health Organization pauses study of hydroxychloroquine in global trial
“The World Health Organization is pausing the use of hydroxychloroquine in its global study of COVID-19 treatments amid a review of safety data, officials announced Monday. The move follows findings from a large observational study, published Friday, that found increased risk of heart problems and death in COVID-19 patients who used chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine…” (Wheaton, 5/25).

Washington Post: Taxpayers paid to develop remdesivir but will have no say when Gilead sets the price
“…Three federal health agencies were deeply involved in remdesivir’s development every step of the way, providing tens of millions of dollars of government research support. Now that big government role has set up a political showdown over pricing and access. Despite the heavy subsidies, federal agencies have not asserted patent rights to Gilead’s drug, potentially a blockbuster therapy worth billions of dollars. That means Gilead will have few constraints other than political pressure when it sets a price in coming weeks. Critics are urging the Trump administration to take a more aggressive approach…” (Rowland, 5/26).

Additional coverage of clinical trials involving remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine is available from Financial Times, The Guardian, POLITICO (2), Reuters (2), STAT, and The Telegraph.

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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