By *Jomo Sanga Thomas
(“Plain Talk” Nov. 19, 2021)
By Dr Alfred Dawes, Guest columnist
For those who have repeatedly spurned and ridiculed doctors and citizens who have promoted the use of repurposed drugs for the treatment of COVID-19, I hope you have been following the news of late.
Blockbuster company Moderna has seen its share price slump by more than 27 percent on the NYSE in the last month. Meanwhile, the scion of the big Pharma, Pfizer Inc, made a 20 percent gain as positive news about the expansion of age groups for its COVID-19 vaccine and, most importantly, their release of a pill for COVID-19 hit the airwaves.
GlaxoSmithKline, the original patent holders of Ivermectin, saw their share price climb with the approvals for its own US$700 oral treatment for COVID-19. Now I’m no analyst, but I’d bet that the bears are out for companies whose gains have been on the back of COVID-19 vaccines without a transition to oral treatments.
‘Conspiracy theorists’ have long argued that the suppression of cheap repurposed drugs was the bidding of a cabal of ruthless money grabbers, whose main objective was to save lives via vaccines and vaccines only. They’ve been ably abetted by career bureaucrats and health administrators who regurgitate talking points handed down from their overlords. We are seeing much clearer the power of money in this pandemic and how easy it is to manipulate the masses.
Ivermectin, a drug developed 40 years ago and is still listed on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) list of essential medicines, has been reduced to the derogatory designation of a horse dewormer. Advocates who swear by Ivermectin have been lashed as promoting unsafe, unproven cattle medicine. The programming has been so intense that persons with a rudimentary knowledge of third form biology now pontificate on social media about the horse medicine, and denounce trained doctors who support it. So great is their conviction based on news reports that they are sure they’re now the experts.
Doctors who prescribe Ivermectin have been hauled before medical councils and had their licenses suspended. Some of the old guards have closed ranks on preserving the status quo, that nothing is of use unless it has passed the test of a randomised, double-blind, multicentre clinical trial. Anything else is mud. While protective of the population against snake oils, that thinking grants a monopoly on innovation to those with the resources to carry out such studies.
Large pharmaceutical companies finance most of the high-quality studies required to pass this stress test. In essence, the conservative medical establishment, and health authorities that take directives from the WHO, have surrendered medical innovation to entities that are corruptible or corrupt. As that has happened, there has been a transition from patient care to a focus on profits and hitting benchmarks.
Pfizer’s new antiviral has been labelled a game-changer. It pivots the focus from vaccinations as the only way out of the pandemic to a focus on early outpatient treatment. The drug’s efficacy was so incontrovertible that the study that won its approval was stopped prematurely because it would have been unethical to continue. The drug works by preventing the action of a protease that cuts viral proteins into smaller pieces that are used to make the armour of the virus. If the protease can’t cut the proteins, then the virus will not have the required components to make its armour, and thus new viruses cannot be produced. It is common knowledge that this works quite well to combat viral infections. What is not common knowledge but is disturbingly shocking is what I have to say next.
Pfizer’s drug was developed in 2003 to combat a virus known as SARS-COV. If that sounds familiar, it is because it is the close relative of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, SARS-COV2. Why was this drug being ignored from the beginning of the pandemic? Was it because vaccines would have generated a more significant windfall in profits? Why did they sit on this drug and not test and release it earlier if it worked so well on a similar coronavirus?
Refused to conduct studies
Ivermectin developers, GlaxoSmithKline, has refused to conduct any studies on Ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19. Their campaign against their creation lent credibility to the chorus of criticism against Ivermectin. They then released their own US$700 oral treatment. Would this have happened if they found that the cheap repurposed drug was effective? We will never know.
Another disturbing fact is that the Pfizer drug works in the same way Ivermectin does to stop the viral protease from working. So from 2003, at least, we knew that protease inhibitors work. We knew from 2020 that Ivermectin worked against SARS- COV-2 and had protease inhibitor activity. Nobody put two and two together, even as hundreds of thousands died from the lack of early outpatient care. It is hard not to believe that money had no part to play in this genocide. Repurposed drugs are usually off-patent, and the immense profits that can be made off a new drug over the life of a twenty-year profits steer research in a particular direction.
Maybe I am wrong, and this is just a series of unfortunate coincidences. Or maybe one day, we will look back and wonder if the people who facilitated this crime against humanity were foolish, gutless or just pure evil. Only time will tell.
*Jomo Sanga Thomas is a lawyer, journalist, social commentator and a former Speaker of the House of Assembly in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
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