The question is not can the drug be taken safely. You are correct. Does it WORK is the question.
Yes, it works.
Which you already know.
If you do NOT know this, you haven't been paying attention at all for the last two weeks.
“The question is not can the drug be taken safely. You are correct. Does it WORK is the question.”
Additionally, does it work on everyone at any stage of the disease?
Since there are no other meds with this known safety record AND there are no other alternatives, this question is moot for now.
Suppose it doesn’t work at all. But you have $50, and it doesn’t really have bad side effects. Isn’t it worth the bet?
There are only 3 reasons to not allow this:
1. It actually has negative impacts, and the possibility of success is not high enough to overcome those negative impacts.
2. In states where they are running trials, you might screw up the trial if you are supposed to be a control but you are taking the meds.
3. The meds are actually out of stock, and your taking them prevents the studies going forward, or keeps people who need them for life-saving treatment from getting that treatment.
THe 3rd seems to be the focus right now; and in Nevada, the governor decided he couldn’t trust doctors not to hoard the medicine, so he shut it down. But the companies are producing millions more of this, so I don’t see that supply will be a problem, unless it is found to work and they make it the primary treatment.
BTW, there’s one other issue; we have a half-dozen ready or almost-ready possible treatments, plus there’s a group who every day is generating a new list of current drugs that show in analysis that they might work off-label against this drug (an interesting field of study, the use computer simulations to search through the database of all drugs, and check each against the known pathology, and get probability hits. There were 10 very promising drugs that they have sent out to actual studies).
So, it might be that this drug “works”, in that maybe it saves half the deaths, and cuts hospital time to 6 days.
But maybe one of the other drugs will save 90% of the deaths, and cut hospital time to 3 days. We want to find that out, not just jump on the first partial cure.
BUT, and this is important — this PARTICULAR combination of drugs is cheap, and easily manufactured, and already out for decades. We know how they work, we just don’t know what the best mix might be, and whether to add zinc or not, or what side effects to watch for in combinations. So it makes sense to deploy this as a temporary measure while we are doing actual studies.
I'm responding to your question as a means of posting a short synopsis. But I think it also answers your question.
Scott's point is that you have a cough lets say or even a cough with fever. You are otherwise OK. You go to the Doctor and he offers you a test. The test will come back in 5 days. If you actually have the disease you could be dead in 5 days. So you can go home and wait for the test to come back and if you still are alive you may be able to get the drug. But your doctor may then say you need to go to the hospital so the specialist can decide if you get the drug or not.
What Scott is recommending is you tell your doctor forget the test I want the "Trump pills". Scott says the short term side effects are nausea and diarrhea. So if your doctor gives you a prescription you go home start taking it in 10 days you're still alive. It doesn't matter if you had the disease or not because the pills he gave you cost under $100. And you save the cost of an expensive test ($1000)
He says if your doctor gives you any push back you tell him that the disease course is rapid. You may not have time to wait for a test. That you pose the question if I were your spouse or family member and they had my symptoms wouldn't you give them the pills?
Scott also implies the famous and rich people he knows already have a supply of "Trump pills". That there is only one study from some small government run university in China that says they don't work. He explains that China has lied all throughout this crisis so why would you believe this study? Everywhere else the reports are it's working.
He goes on with more examples but the funny one is that he mentions that Prince Charles has tested positive for Coronavirus what do you think the odds that he is NOT taking the "Trump pills" (although in England he says as an aside they probably call them something else) . . . "f-ing 0, not 1%, not 2%, f-ing 0%".
In the beginning of his piece he compared our response to the Coronavirus to centralized planning. This is just like the Obama plan for the Afghanistan war. When soldiers in the field found a potential target they would have to report it to their commanders and wait for a response. It went up the chain of command, maybe to Obama himself. By the time they get a response, the situation in the field has changed. So instead of making battle field decisions they have to go through the centralized planning. He then explains how this is the same as what is happening now with the virus.