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Ten experts on a NIH COVID-19 panel have ties to companies involved in coronavirus treatment

Eight members of NIH's COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel list financial ties to Gilead Sciences, whose COVID-19 drug remdesivir has been touted by Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Updated: August 11, 2020 - 2:03pm

Members of the National Institutes of Health's COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel have financial ties to a company behind clinical trials of a drug to treat coronavirus, as well as to another large pharmaceutical company involved with developing a COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the NIH, members of the panel include U.S. physicians, statisticians, and other experts who are developing treatment guidelines on COVID-19 "intended for healthcare providers."

A total of eight panel members list a financial relationship with Gilead Sciences on the panel's Financial Disclosure for Companies Related to COVID-19 Treatment or Diagnostics document: Judith Aberg, MD, Adaora Adimora, MD, Jason Baker, MD, Roger Bedimo, MD, Eric Daar, MD, David V. Glidden, PhD, Susanna Naggie, MD, and Pablo Tebas, MD.  

The U.S. has reportedly bought almost all of Gilead Sciences' supply of the COVID-19 drug remdesivir. The company announced on June 1 the results of a phase 3 clinical trial of the drug in patients with moderate COVID-19.

On Monday, Gilead applied for FDA approval of remdesivir, which has been available for emergency use with patients hospitalized with severe cases of COVID-19.

"The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), announced back on April 29 in an interview with NBC News, citing results of a large international study sponsored by his NIAID.

"And all of the other trials that are taking place now have a new standard of care," said Fauci.

Dr. William O'Neill, a cardiologist and Medical Director at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Mich., told Just the News contributor Sharyl Attkisson in an interview for her news program "Full Measure" that he is less impressed with remdesivir.

"There is a lot of hype for the drug," said O'Neil, adding that he sees "no big benefit" to remdesivir after reading medical journal reports on it.  

Andrew T. Pavia, MD and Rajesh Gandhi, MD list Merck on the NIH disclosure form.

Merck is currently conducting clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine. Merck's target date for a licensed COVID-19 vaccine is early 2021, according to recent congressional testimony.

The COVID-19 treatment guidelines are "based on published and preliminary data and the clinical expertise of the panelists, many of whom are frontline clinicians caring for patients during the rapidly evolving pandemic."

Fauci is not listed on the NIH financial disclosure form.

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