Josh Hardy is a cute 7-year-old boy who is dying of a rare cancer. His doctors think an anti-viral medicine could help him, but it hasn’t been approved by the FDA, so they couldn’t give it to him. Then his family began a campaign via social media and shows like “Good Morning America” to convince the small pharmaceutical company that makes the medicine to give it to Josh anyway. A few days ago, Chimerix announced that Josh’s story had convinced the FDA to allow it to launch a clinical trial for 20 patients, including Josh.
What about all the other people who need help but don’t have the wherewithal to launch a publicity campaign like Josh’s family? Should a small company like Chimerix just give its drug away out of compassion? How long do FDA trials take? Does this remind anyone else of “Dallas Buyers Club”?