Drug Company CEO Shamed Into Giving 7-year-old Treatment

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Chimerix says 7-year-old Josh Hardy will be the first to test Brincidofovir.
Image: Shutterstock

The CEO of the drug company that had been refusing to supply lifesaving medication to a seven-year-old cancer survivor from Virginia has caved into public pressure and said the boy will now get it.

Chimerix chief Kenneth Moch is reported to have actually hung up the phone on a charity that offered the $50,000 needed to give it to the 7-year-old. Moch announced last on Tuesday night that his firm will begin a pilot trial for the drug on Wednesday – with Josh Hardy as the program’s first patient. The sudden reversal comes after Moch faced huge criticism for denying the young boy the medication Brincidofovir to fight off an infection he developed after a bone marrow transplant.

In a statement, Moch said that after much careful consideration Chimerix would offer Josh the medicine. Over his short seven years, Josh has survived four bouts of kidney cancer and even suffered from heart failure.  After all these unfortunate events in November 2013, he developed a bone marrow disorder as a result of his cancer treatments and underwent chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. Though his treatments were a success, Josh subsequently developed adenovirus – an acute infection that can be deadly in people with compromised immune systems.

Doctors at St. Jude recommended that Josh be treated with Brincidofovir – an antiviral drug that has been proven to clear up adenovirus in children within two weeks.  But, the FDA had not approved the drug yet, which prevented Josh and his family from gaining access to it. Aimee Hardy, Josh’s mother, confronted Moch to grant Josh emergency access to the medication, but the company consistently refused to make an exception. The Max Cure Foundation, a charity dedicated to researching rare pediatric cancers, offered to pay the cost of the drug, but Chimerix would not budge. Josh’s doctors also contacted Chimerex requesting their patient be allowed use of the drug but to no response.

Now Chimerix will pay for Josh’s use through the study and Josh will receive the medication. “Being unable to fulfill requests for compassionate use is excruciating, and not a decision any one of us ever wants to have to make,” Moch said, according to Fox News.

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