The FDA gave speedy approval for the clinical trial of famotidine, the active ingredient in Pepcid, without proof of its efficacy against COVID-19.
The Trump administration granted a $21 million emergency contract to researchers to study an active ingredient in Pepcid called famotidine and see if it's effective against Covid-19. Pepcid is a heartburn medication commonly found on drugstore shelves in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the clinical trial speedy approval, despite any proof that the ingredient is effective against COVID-19. The Associated Press reported that top agency officials were worried that the proposed daily injections of high doses of famotidine for already sick patients pushed safety 'to the limits.' There was no specific research on famotidine's coronavirus-fighting potential to underpin a clinical trial involving hundreds of COVID-19 patients.
That contract is now under scrutiny after a government whistleblower accused a senior administration official of rushing the deal through without the scientific oversight necessary for such a significant federal award. And the doctors who initially promoted the Pepcid idea are fighting a battle for credit and sniping over allegations of scientific misconduct.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.