June 15 update. I used to believe that impact of financial conflicts of interest was exaggerated. Apparently, that has changed over the last decade or two.
Influence of conflicts of interest on public positions in the COVID-19 era, the case of Gilead Sciences, Yanis Roussel, Didier Raoult, New Microbes and New Infections Journal, 2020-06-04:
In the context of the COVID-19 epidemic, several treatments are available to treat patients infected with the virus. Some are protected by patents, such as remdesivir, others are not, such as hydroxychloroquine. We wanted to observe the possible correlation between the fact, for an academic doctor in infectious diseases, of having benefited from funding by Gilead Sciences, producer of remdesivir, and the public positions taken by this doctor towards hydroxychloroquine. Our results show a correlation (correlation coefficient = 1) between the amount received from the Gilead Sciences company and public opposition to the use of hydroxychloroquine in France.
Correlation coefficient = 1 means a perfect correlation. It is still open to interpretation: whether cash from Gilead causes a doctor to talk negatively about HCQ, or the negative opinion about HCQ causes the doctor to flock to remdesivir and Gilead. That might be different for different doctors.
At least 7 (seven) members of the Panel on COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines, including 2 out of 3 Co-Chairs, have not disclosed their financial ties to Gilead Sciences (GILD), the patent owner and manufacturer of remdesivir.
Under the direction of WHO, Remdesivir is being tested as an alternative treatment to COVID-19. Currently, COVID-19 is treated by hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) with or without azithromycin (AZ).
Nine members of the Panel tasked with determining acceptable COVID-19 treatments have disclosed financial ties to Gilead, the manufacturer of Remdesivir. However, at least 7 other members failed to disclose their financial ties to Gilead and a number of other panel members appear to have links to Gilead that require no disclosure. Together, Gilead-linked individuals made up a majority of this panel.
This might explain why the panel recommended against a HCQ+AZ combination, refused to recommend HCQ (“insufficient clinical data to recommend either for or against”) and raised fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) about it. The Panel gave the same grade (but without FUD) to Remdesivir, though no clinical data existed for its use againstCOVID-19.
The list of the Panel members who have not disclosed their financial ties to Gilead is below. This is not an accusation against these individuals. The reporting period of Gilead ties was set to a mere 11 months (May 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020) and the last three weeks were excluded. The Guidelines were published on April 21 and already caused damage to the ongoing COVID-19 treatment.
|Name||Financial Disclosure||Failed to Disclose|
|Jeffrey L. Lennox (*)||None||N/A||Gilead Advisory Board, 2019|
|Ann C. Collier||None||N/A||Past research support from Gilead (reported in 2013)|
|Roy M. Gulick,
|None||N/A||Currently delivers lectures, funded with grants from Gilead|
|John T. Brooks||None||N/A||Done HIV Conferences with Gilead Sciences (2018)|
|None||N/A||Gilead funded his research and conference(s), 2018|
|Nitin Seam||None||N/A||Web Editorial Committee Chair with American Thoracic Society; Gilead is a Patron (2018)|
|Phyllis Tien||None||N/A||Research Grants by Gilead (2018)|
(*) Also, Jeffrey L. Lennox disclosed in 2009 that he “has been an investigator for Abbott, Gilead Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Pfizer, Schering, and Tibotec; a paid consultant for Abbott, Gilead Sciences, Merck, Pfizer, Roche, and Tibotec; and a paid speaker for Abbott, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Roche, and Tibotec.”
Please let me know if you find any errors in this table or the accompanying description. If you are one of the people listed in the table , I will correct any error or publish your reply, or both. You can contact me by making a comment below (which will not be automatically published), or by email email@example.com.
P.S. Do NOT delete the linked pages. First, destruction of evidence is a crime. Second, do you really think that your website and the Web Archive are the only places where their copies exist?
Originally published on April 27, 2020. Updated on April 28, June 15.