Commercial Influence and COVID-19

In an editorial in BMJ, Ray Moynihan and colleagues describe some of the ways that commercial actors have influenced assessment of the antiviral remdesivir and the heavy involvement of  Gilead, the maker of the drug, in designing the trials and  promoting the findings of its studies before peer review. Remdesivir is used to treat COVID-19 and Gilead will reportedly charge more than $3,100 to treat a typical COVID-19 patient with private health insurance.

The authors also cite a Call to Action circulated by BMJ calling for more independence from commercial influences in medical research, practice and education.  Almost 500 health professionals from around the world have already signed.