WASHINGTON, March 24—Reacting to the decision by the Trump Administration’s FDA to grant Gilead Sciences a seven-year monopoly for antiviral medication remdesivir for potential treatment of the coronavirus, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement:
“It is truly outrageous that after taxpayers put tens of millions of dollars into developing remdesivir, Trump’s FDA is exploiting a law reserved for rare diseases to privatize a drug to treat a pandemic virus. The Trump Administration must rescind this corporate giveaway to Gilead and make any treatment and vaccine free for everybody.
“Now is not the time for profiteering in the pharmaceutical industry. Now is the time to bring our scientists together to develop and produce the best treatment for the coronavirus as quickly as possible.
“When Jonas Salk developed the polio vaccine 65 years ago, he understood the tremendous value it would have for all of humanity, and he refused to patent it. Right now, we must put human life above corporate profit. We cannot give pharmaceutical corporations a monopoly on treatments that could save millions of people during this crisis.”