Eric Topol to Stephen Hahn/FDA: “Tell the Truth or Resign”

An open letter from Eric Topol to Dr.Stephen Hahn details a number of glaring mistakes at the FDA which threaten its credibility and its mission.

Here’s the link: Dear Commissioner Hahn: Tell the Truth or Resign

The letter points to three high profile, politically-fraught decisions at the FDA:

  1. Authorization of hydroxychloroquine
    • “Immediately after President Trump widely and aggressively promoted hydroxychloroquine as a “miracle drug,” on March 30, 2020, you granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for this drug without any sufficient or meaningful supportive evidence”
  2. Authorization of convalescent plasma
    • “This is a major advance…[A]nd a 35% improvement in survival is a pretty substantial clinical benefit. What that means is — and if the data continue to pan out — [of] 100 people who are sick with COVID-19, 35 would have been saved because of the admission of plasma.” Every part of that statement is incorrect and a blatant misrepresentation of the data.
  3. Authorizaton of remdesevir
    • The third breach of evidence-based data was your EUA issued August 28, 2020 broadening the remdesivir approval to include any patient hospitalized with moderate COVID-19. There are insufficient data to support this approval, as it is based on small, open-label studies with subjective endpoints.

Dr. Topol worries that Dr. Hahn will further erode confidence in the FDA by approval of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine prematurely.  “Any shortcuts will not only jeopardize the vaccine programs but betray the public trust, which is already fragile about vaccines, and has been made more so by your lack of autonomy from the Trump administration and its overt politicization of the FDA.”

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