- Biogen defends the indefensible.
- Unvaccinated people are putting us all at risk for COVID.
- The trend of politics over science is disturbing.
- Pharma seems to have a policy of “don’t say anything to rock the boat.”
Biogen executives used their earnings day to aim at critics and the media, saying the federal approval of the company’s new Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm, “has been the subject of extensive misinformation and misunderstanding.” Then there is the resurgent COVID problem that causing people to get sick again, mostly unvaccinated because of Republican ignorance and stupidity.
Where to start?
Per Axios, “Jay Olson, an analyst at Oppenheimer, said Biogen was under “constant assault from the media and other groups … what do you suppose it is about Alzheimer’s disease that causes the media to react so negatively to a drug that could actually help patients and their families?” The problem is that Biogen’s drug has not shown efficacy and that the theory behind the drug is not even factually believed.
David Knopman, a Mayo Clinic neurologist who was a site investigator for Aduhelm’s trials and has since resigned from the FDA committee that reviews Alzheimer’s drugs, told me he stands by his prior criticisms: “The facts speak for themselves.”Axios
So let’s cut to the chase here. Biogen needed this drug purely for self-survival. Without Aduhelm, Biogen is in deep shit as their pipeline is non-existent, and there aren’t really any good acquisition targets right now. In fact, no company within their right mind would want to buy Biogen as their ego has been wiring checks their business can’t cash.
COVID is making a comeback and the unvaccinated are putting us all at risk. Even Alabamba’s Governor is blaming “unvaccinated folks” for the resurgence of COVID in her state. As the Economist points out, the anti-vax movement in America today is unprecedented. There have always been people who objected to vaccinations, but they were on the fringe, a smattering of naysayers. The price of these rejectionists was usually small — a few outbreaks of measles every now and then. This time, it’s different. In the midst of a raging pandemic that has killed more than 600,000 Americans, we’ve seen the rise of a vast right-wing conspiracy theory about the vaccines. It has been stoked by influential figures in the conservative media and tolerated, even encouraged, by powerful Republican politicians.
You should not have the right to spread disease and occupy a precious hospital bed.
Behind this debate is a disturbing trend; politics over science. Tuesday’s yelling match between Anthony S. Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) brought the origins issue back into the public eye in the worst possible way and Paul’s stance is beyond ignorance.
Again, let’s be honest here. The FDA, Republicans, Trump, and social media have all been responsible for spreading COVID misinformation. How could anyone with an education believe that the COVID vaccine has a microchip in it?
According to the Washington Post “Facebook, YouTube and Twitter all banned harmful covid-related misinformation as the pandemic took hold throughout the world. But the false claims are still proliferating”.
On YouTube, the accounts of six out of 12 anti-vaccine activists identified by the Center for Countering Digital Hate as being responsible for creating more than half the anti-vaccine content shared on social media are easily searchable and still posting videos. On Facebook, researchers at the left-leaning advocacy group Avaaz ran an experiment in June in an effort to show how anti-vaccine material gets pushed to people. Two new accounts it set up were recommended 109 pages containing anti-vaccine information in just two daysWashington Post
With all this happening, pharma seems to be staying on the sidelines, giving more money to PhRMA to fight pending drug legislation. When will healthcare get its act together?