Omicron emerging in the United States and news of the first reported death in the United Kingdom remind us how little we understand the novel coronavirus, and with vaccines less effective against the new variant, how much we are in need of additional ways to fight it. To broaden our knowledge of COVID-19 and identify the best ways to treat and prevent it, doctors should be able to use every possible safe means at their disposal to help patients. Unfortunately, that is impossible in our current political climate.
Since the summer of 2020, U.S. public health agencies have continually shut down the use or even discussion of generic treatments that are minimally profitable. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded 20 large research studies of patented pharmaceutical industry drugs before only recently (and slowly) agreeing to study repurposed generic medicines.link