This is an emergency!

When trust in the FDA declines our whole population is at risk. Ignorance should never be replaced by politics and it’s up to every drug company CEO, health insurer, PBM, and physician to make it known that politics will ver, ever, play a role in drug approvals.

In my twenty-plus years in healthcare I thought I had seen it all but what I read this weekend was beyond disturbing. The idea that a vaccine could get “fast-tracked” without adequate testing is dangerous and send the wrong message to a skeptical vaccine population.

Let’s be honest: the virus is not magically going to fade away. When new cases and deaths go down a locked-down public goes nuts and resumes their free living ways resulting in spikes of COVID-19. The only way we’re going to beat this virus is with common sense, scientific recommendations and eventually a vaccine.

In simple terms, Trump is in deep trouble. He knows it and believes that a vaccine will lead to his resurgence in the polls. To this end, he is making the FDA a political pawn giving ammunition to anti-vaxxers who worry that any vaccine will not be tested thoroughly.

Emergency key on the computer keyboard, three-dimensional rendering, 3D illustration

If you can’t see the danger in this then you are living in an alternate reality. Drug company CEOS and every healthcare organization cannot afford to remain silent while false promises of miracle treatments are politicalized. Already in social media, diehard Trump supporters see COVID as a Democratic plot to dethrone Trump.

I spent the last twenty-four hours measuring the responses to possible treatments and thank God there are sensible people out there. Most know that ANY treatment needs to be thoroughly tested and they have faith that the FDA will only approve treatments that meet stringent guidelines. That’s not enough though.

Insurers, the AMA, physicians, and drug company executives should all be communicating the same message; a treatment will only be approved once it has gone through the FDA drug development process, not before.

I understand that some companies are reluctant to get involved but this involves a danger to the public that we have never seen. To remain silent is to become complicit.