On this episode of the podcast, Terry and Bob lament the politicization of medicine. Rather than relying on science to guide decisions around potential Covid-19 vaccines, the media and interest groups foster politicization. Terry highlights how patients are always the losers in such politicized environments.
Dr. Bob interviews Dr. John Rothman, Executive VP of Product Development at Tyme Technologies, about the drugmaker’s promising Covid-19 therapeutic candidate called TYME-19. The medicine is an oral synthetic bile acid that has shown broad antiviral activity, including against Covid-19 in preclinical studies. Dr. Rothman explains how none of the three-dozen members of a New Jersey paramedic squad, which has taken the medicine, has developed Covid-19, despite close contact with the disease. Neither have the doctors who have taken it. He points out that the drug has demonstrated impressive antiviral qualities in animal studies.
Dr. Rothman highlights how these positive early results have led the company to launch the drug into a clinical trial to determine efficacy. Ideally, TYME-19 will show positive results when used in the early stages of Covid-19, allowing patients to avoid hospitalization. TYME-19 is unique because it focuses on the early stages of the disease. If proven effective, Frontline workers could use it as a prophylactic.
It’s disappointing that there are so few therapeutics available to treat Covid-19. Months into the Covid-19 pandemic, just a handful have been approved. The jury is still out on the effectiveness of convalescent plasma and hydroxychloroquine. The Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society currently maintains a Covid-19 therapeutic tracker that lists the latest developments in roughly 50 medicines that have the potential to alleviate Covid-19 symptoms. Hopefully, as potential therapeutics like TYME-19 make their way through the clinical trial process, we’ll identify medicines to reduce this disease’s severity.
Patient correspondent Kate Pecora speaks with Michelle Whitlock, a two-time cervical cancer survivor who recently a heart attack at just 45 years old. Michelle emphasizes the importance of self-advocacy in the doctor’s office. Her effort to identify a second opinion allowed her to – for a time — avoid a hysterectomy. She now has four children. Yet her health issues haven’t stopped. Her cancer recurred. Then she recently had a heart attack, which she chalks up to genetics. She explains how trusting her instincts that she was having a heart attack and calling for help saved her life. She encourages all patients to know their bodies.