Is the Defense Department a Hoarder?
There are currently four FDA approved drugs for treating influenza (flu) in the United States:
- oseltamivir phosphate (available as a generic version or under the trade name Tamiflu®)
- zanamivir (trade name Relenza®)
- peramivir (trade name Rapivab®)
- baloxavir marboxil (trade name Xofluza®)
But a fifth underwent human trials in the U.S. and was procured and presumably "stockpiled" by the the Defense Threat Reduction Agency:
- favipiravir (T-705, trade name Avigan®)
That fifth, favipiravir, is the same favipiravir that has been approved for treating COVID-19 in China and is in late phase human trials there and in other nations. There are no favipiravir trials for fighting COVID underway in the U.S., however.
Were citizens to call upon the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to release its stockpile of favipiravir, activate its suppliers and in all respects support a large scale phase III human trial of the drug in New York, it could be a game-changer. As it stands, favipiravir is neither FDA approved nor available to civilian doctors treating civilian COVID-19 patients in the United States.
There is something wrong with this picture, which means if you're wondering if there's anything YOU can do to fight COVID-19, the answer is quite possibly YES. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand sits on the Senate Committee on Armed Services, and this is exactly the sort of issue Parkchester's congresswoman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might do something about, were it brought to her attention.