Merck, Ivermectin & Molnupiravir – A Tale of Two Pills
If someone had told me 2 years ago that I would be sitting here in my home office writing about anti-viral drugs and pharmaceutical companies, I would have said, “Get outta here! That’s crazy talk!!” Yet here I am, spending my Sunday writing about just that. Well, seeing as we in our two hundredeth and something day of lockdowns in Victoria, Australia, I’ve literally little else to do so here it goes. But first, another disclaimer. I am nobody important. These are just my thoughts, my opinion and nothing that I may write constitutes medical advice of any kind. I am merely trying to present the facts as I have observed them.
Lately, you would have heard a lot of drama regarding the first of our two pills, ivermectin, in the news. Most of it will be negatively biased against the Nobel Peace Prize winning medication. Many stories are focused on the dangers of people self-medicating with the veterinary version of ivermectin, and the journalist calling out ‘right-wing’ commentators who are spreading “misinformation”, or crazy conspiracy theories regarding its efficacy for covid, despite our health authorities finding “no evidence” that it works. The subtext for most of these articles seem to be, “These people are stupid, crazy right-wing nutjobs who are self-medicating with horse paste for no good reason.” Many articles are quick to point out the FDA, (the Australian version is the TGA) and the CDC have not “approved” ivermectin for use in Covid-19. These appeals to authority are meant to silence anybody who dares to offer a different view of the drug’s efficacy. However, many of these ‘anti-ivermectin’ news reports are leaving out a lot of the facts regarding ivermectin and the research that is already there and is ongoing. None seem to mention any of the positive case studies that abound of people recovering from Covid-19 who have used ivermectin as part of their treatment. Anyone who just reads these stories with their morning coffee will just shake their head in confused disbelief and go on to the next story. What these stories are designed to do is leave a derisive stain on the name ivermectin and associate it with misinformation, tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers. Many of these articles will gleefully repeat that even the drug’s manufacturer has cautioned against its use. But what they just happen to leave out is the manufacturers’ financial stake in the matter.
Lord, won’t you buy me a Merck covid pill?
It just so happens that Merck, the former manufacturer of ivermectin has been working on a “new” anti-viral pill which will, when approved, would provide an at-home remedy for mild to moderate cases of Covid-19. This new pill will ironically work in much the same way as ivermectin. According to the press release Molnupiravir “inhibits the replication of multiple RNA viruses including SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19.” According to this paper in Nature on the mechanisms of action of ivermectin against SARS-CoV-2 published in June 2021, (which I won’t pretend to totally understand), ivermectin apparently “inhibits and disrupts binding of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein at the ACE-2 receptors.” Please, correct me if I am wrong, but that sounds like pretty much the same thing to me. If ivermectin inhibits and disrupts the binding of the covid protein to the ACE-2 receptors, it’s going to make it rather difficult for the virus to make copies of itself. So, as I understand it, in effect, this new pill does pretty much the same thing as ivermectin. Except it’s prettier, newer and most importantly, Merck will be able to patent it and make lots of money from it.
In the same press release, dated June 9, 2021, Meck announced that the U.S. government has agreed to “purchase molnupiravir if it receives Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Merck will receive approximately $1.2 billion to supply approximately 1.7 million courses of molnupiravir to the United States government.” Note the “if”. Note also, the FDA’s rules on granting EUA depend on there being “no adequate, approved, and available alternatives” already approved for use.
Does this place Merck’s earlier cautionary statement discrediting ivermectin for Covid-19 in question? Let’s look at the timeline of events here.
In February 2021, Merck releases a statement on ivermectin advising against its use for Covid-19 stating there is no scientific basis, no meaningful evidence and a concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies. Each of those statements could be argued against quite convincingly, but I won’t go into that here. (The FLCCC has collected a large amount of scientific evidence on ivermectin’s safety and efficacy which is referenced and easily validated.)
In June 2021, Merck releases the above-mentioned press-release advising that the U.S. government has signed an agreement to purchase billions of doses of its new anti-viral pill should it receive either EUA or full approval, thus evidencing a clear conflict of interest and financial motive for discrediting the adoption of ivermectin as a potential treatment for mild to moderate covid.
Nothing to see here
Despite the above glaringly obvious motive that Merck has to at both discredit an old medication whilst at the same time, doing deals with government to supply a new pill that does pretty much the same thing, it seems the media are very happy to just play along. Not only are no major media outlets or journalists even questioning the obvious conflict of interest here, but they are also seemingly doing their very best to pile onboard the anti-ivermectin bandwagon and contribute to the disinformation campaign.
When the media and journalists no longer ask the hard questions, or hold the powerful to account, but instead run what can only be described as propaganda for the powerful, what hope does the average person have of sorting fact from fallacy? It appears it is up to the individual to do their own due diligence these days.