Japanese Covid-19 Drug Ignored by a Supposedly Desperate United States
U.S.C. Medical School's Dr. Binh Ngo and Parkchester Times contributing writer Stephen Ditmore independently posted petitions on Change.org for U.S. import and trials of the COVID-19 drug favipiravir from FujiFilm. Dr. Ngo's petition has now garnered over 2200 signatures.
Dr. Binh Ngo's petition: https://www.change.org/p/u-s-food-and-drug-administration-release-favilavir-favipiravir-to-treat-coronavirus-in-the-united-states
Stephen Ditmore's petition: https://www.change.org/p/fda-commissioner-stephen-hahn-a-u-s-phase-iii-study-of-favipiravir-large-scale-in-new-york-commencing-immediately
Were favipiravir to prove a successful treatment, as it has in China, faster recoveries could ease pressure on critical ventilators.
Why is favipiravir being ignored? Perhaps because of what might be considered an American competitor, remdesivir, but favipiravir's advocates argue their actions are different, combinations of drugs may ultimately be needed, and some of the initial reports from the remdesivir studies point to problems as indicated in this article: https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-covid-19-treatments.html. Importantly, favipiravir is a pill that could be dispensed by pharmacists, while remdesivir is, to date, only available in i.v. form.
President Trump has made a point of championing chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine trials, a push that has been embraced and acted upon by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; but those drugs have also shown mixed early results. Multiple candidate treatments and combinations clearly need to be tried, but in the opinion of many we cannot afford to leave what may be the most promising off doctor's treatment palettes.
If you agree, please sign and share both petitions. If you wish to do more, please make sure your senators, Schumer and Gillibrand, your congressperson (be that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or another), F.D.A. Comissioner Stephen Hahn, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and New York State Health Comissioner Howard Zucker know of these petitions and of your desire that national boundaries and commercial relationships not stand in the way of doctors having access to antiviral drugs shown to treat COVID-19.
For a rundown of COVID-19 trials in progress, see https://laegemiddelstyrelsen.dk/da/nyheder/temaer/ny-coronavirus-covid-19/~/media/5B83D25935DF43A38FF823E24604AC36.ashx