In 2020, the US government spent more than $ 18 billion to fund drug makers. His drive to get companies to make a Covid vaccine has led to at least five effective products in times that were unthinkable by past standards.
Now the economic effort has changed: the US government he put in the first 3 billion dollars in a previously neglected research area. A cure for Covid-19. Pills to fight the virus in the early stages of infection, as we do today to fight a flu.
It is time to accelerate towards the cure
The new program, announced Thursday by the US Department of Health and Human Services, is already outlined. It will have the task of accelerating the clinical trials of some promising drug candidates. Hopefully, some of these first pills they could be ready by the end of the year.
That's not all: the pandemic antiviral treatment program will also support research into entirely new drugs, not just for SARS-CoV2, but for other viruses that could cause future pandemics. A number of other viruses, including influenza, HIV, and hepatitis C, can be treated with a simple pill.
However, despite more than a year of research there is still no such cure, a pill to treat a person before the coronavirus get out of control. Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration's program to accelerate research, has invested far more money in developing the vaccine than a cure.
The end of Covid? In the pharmacy
Doctor Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and key supporter of the program, says he is looking forward to Covid-19 patients being able to pick up treatment in the form of antiviral pills at the pharmacy as soon as they test positive for coronavirus or develop symptoms.
I wake up in the morning, I don't feel very well, smell and taste disappear, I get a sore throat, we go to my doctor and I say: 'I have Covid and I need a prescription'.The next scenario described by an antiviral treatment described by Fauci in a recent interview.
It's not too good to be true. The impression is that the end of Covid, its true "normalization" is precisely in a cure to be found simply in the pharmacy.