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Daily Archives: July 2nd, 2020


This development appears to be a TOTUS and associates move to profit off an illness. MA

MARIA CHENG

U.S. buys global supply of COVID-19 drug remdesivir

LONDON (AP) — Public health experts on Wednesday criticized the U.S. for securing a large supply of the only drug licensed so far to treat COVID-19.

The U.S. government announced this week that it had an agreement with Gilead Sciences to make the bulk of their production of remdesivir for the next three months available to Americans. The Department of Health and Human Services said it had secured 500,000 treatments through September, which amounts to all but 10% of production in August and September.

“To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.

Ohid Yaqub, a senior lecturer at the University of Sussex, called the U.S. agreement “disappointing news.”

“It so clearly signals an unwillingness to cooperate with other countries and the chilling effect this has on international agreements about intellectual property rights,” Yaqub said in a statement

Until now, Gilead had donated the drug. That ended Tuesday and Gilead this week set the price for new shipments at $2,300 to $3,100 per treatment course. The company is allowing generic makers to supply the drug at much lower prices to 127 poor or middle-income countries.

In a statement Wednesday, the California-based Gilead said its agreement with the U.S. allows for any unneeded supplies to be sent to other countries. The company said it is “working as quickly as possible” to enable access worldwide. But it noted that U.S. is seeing a significant rise in COVID-19 cases, while “most EU and other developed countries have reduced their levels of disease considerably.”

Early studies testing remdesivir in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 found that those who received the treatment recovered quicker than those who didn’t. It is the only drug licensed by both the U.S. and the European Union as a treatment for those with severe illness from the coronavirus.

Dr. Peter Horby, who is running a large study testing several treatments for COVID-19, told the BBC that “a stronger framework” was needed to ensure fair prices and access to key medicines for people and nations around the world. He said that as an American company, Gilead was likely under “certain political pressures locally.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, James Slack, declined to criticize the United States for the move. He said the U.K. had a “sufficient stock” of remdesivir for patients who need it, but didn’t specify how much that was.

Thomas Senderovitz, head of the Danish Medicines Agency, told Danish broadcaster DR that the move could endanger Europeans and others down the road.

“I have never seen anything like that. That a company chooses to sell their stock to only one country. It’s very strange and quite inappropriate,” he said. “Right now we have enough to make it through the summer if the intake of patients is as it is now. If a second wave comes, we may be challenged.”

Dr. Michael Ryan, the emergencies chief of the World Health Organization, said the agency was looking into the implications of the U.S. deal for remdesivir.

“There are many people around the world who are very sick …. and we want to ensure that everybody has access to the necessary, life-saving interventions.” He said WHO was “fully committed” to working toward equitable access for such treatments.

Gilead had been developing remdesivir for years as a viral treatment, with millions in U.S. funding, before it was tried for coronavirus. The consumer group Public Citizen estimates that at least $70 million in U.S. public funding went to develop remdesivir.

On Wednesday, Gilead said its supply of remdesivir should increase by the end of September and meet global demand after that. It said some countries should have enough for current needs, from the supply they received for patient testing and other programs.

Gilead has said it expects to spend more than $1 billion by year’s end on testing and manufacturing of remdesivir.

Dr. Penny Ward of King’s College London, noted that many countries have legal provisions that allow them to prohibit the exportation of drugs to other countries during an emergency.

“It is unreasonable to expect that the U.S. government should deny their population access to drugs manufactured in the USA,” she said.

Ward pointed out that another drug that may help people with severe COVID-19, the cheap steroid dexamathasone, is long off-patent and available globally.

The U.S. has the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world, with 2.6 million reported infected and 127,000 confirmed virus-related deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. To date, COVID-19 has sickened more than 10.5 million people worldwide, killing around 512,000, according Johns Hopkins.

Numerous countries including Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands and the U.S. have struck deals with drugmakers to have millions of doses of experimental vaccines delivered before they are licensed. British politicians have said if a vaccine currently being developed by Oxford University and manufactured by AstraZeneca is proven to work, Britons will be first in line to get it.

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AP writers Jill Lawless in London, Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen and Linda A. Johnson in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, contributed to this report.

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Con artists are targeting grandparents’ hearts and wallets.

 

Dear Michael,
Con artists will go to great lengths to get between you and your money. Sadly, this includes taking advantage of your love for your family. They are putting a new twist on an old scam to target grandparents’ hearts and wallets.

 

 

 

How It Works
Scammers will contact you, claiming to be your grandchild or calling on behalf of your grandchild.
With a nod to the pandemic, they will explain your grandchild fell ill and was rushing to the hospital and wrecked his car — and possibly even hurt someone — and is now in jail.
They’ll ask you to send money right away – often through a money transfer service or by purchasing gift cards and sharing the activation information on the back of the cards.

 

 

 

What You Should Know
Contact is typically by phone, but could come through email, text and/or social media.
The calls often come late at night – scammers hope you may be less clear-headed if you are tired or have been sleeping.
The scammers will typically offer just enough detail to make the story seem convincing – they may even give the phone to another scammer who will claim to be a doctor, police officer or lawyer.

 

 

 

What You Should Do
Ask the caller questions only your grandchild could answer, such as the name of your grandchild’s first pet or where he went to elementary school.
Hang up and call your grandchild’s phone number or call other family members to see if they can verify the story.
Check your privacy settings on social media to make sure only friends and family can see your posts and photos; otherwise, the information they can find about you can be used to deceive you in scams just like this.
You can report scams and fraud to the Federal Trade Commission at 877‑382‑4357 or to the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877‑908‑3360.

 

 

When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You have the power

to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams. Please share this alert with

friends and family and visit the Fraud Watch Network.

Sincerely,
Kathy Stokes
AARP Fraud Watch Network

 

P.S. REGISTER FOR OUR FREE WEBINAR: You can protect yourself and your loved

ones if you know what scams you should be aware of. Our free webinar will provide you with important information to help you confidently spot and identify

coronavirus scams. Click here to register.

DIGITAL FRAUD FIGHTERS: Are you active on social media? Do you enjoy sharing information that can help prevent friends and family from falling victim to scams? Become a volunteer AARP Fraud Watch Network (FWN) Digital Fraud Fighter! In exchange for simply sharing the same type of content with your friends and family that you already do, Digital Fraud Fighters will receive access to exclusive scam briefings plus a Welcome Packet, which includes a T-shirt, a copy of the FWN Con Artist’s Playbook, the FWN Watchdog Alert Handbook, and more. Interested? Send us a note at FWN@aarp.org for more information!

 

 

 

 

Get Help
To report a scam or for help if you or a loved one has fallen victim, contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline.
CALL 877-908-3360
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