Drug company refuses to give lifesaving medication to 7-year-old

Drug company refuses to give lifesaving medication to 7-year-old boy

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Photo credit: Save Josh/Facebook page Photo credit: Save Josh/Facebook page
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. -
A northern Virginia boy’s family is desperately pleading with the maker of a new antiviral drug to save his life.  The drug, Brincidofovir, is still in the trial phase, and the company that makes it says if they help little Josh Hardy now, it will hamper their efforts to get it approved.  

Josh, who is just 7, is currently being cared for at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Tennessee.  His family is by his bedside, and his mom, Aimee Hardy, has been using social media to share their story with the world in hopes it will help save his life. 

HOW TO HELP: SAVE JOSH ON FACEBOOK

TWEET YOUR SUPPORT: #SaveJosh

Aimee Hardy says her son is in agony.  He has battled cancer on and off, and now he’s in jeopardy again due to complications from a bone marrow transplant.  Doctors believe Brincidofovir could save his life, but the maker of the drug won’t provide it.

Chimerix is the company that makes Brincidofovir.  They’re facing a major ethical dilemma because they say there are hundreds if not thousands of people who need it, but if they give it to patients like Josh, it will slow down their efforts to make it widely available.  They hope that will happen in 2016 if it passes all its clinical trials.  

“If we were to make it available for this young boy, and I would very much like to as a human being, how would we say no to the dozens, hundreds—potentially thousands of other requests that we get for this drug?” said Kenneth Moch, president and CEO of Chimerix.

Moch said his company had been releasing the potential breakthrough antiviral drug, which they say is 14 years in the making, for compassionate use for patients like Josh, but an overwhelming number of requests were slowing their research.  So, two years ago, they made the ethical decision to focus solely on getting approval from the FDA. Moch said it was in an effort to avoid delaying the availability of the medicine in the future.

“For him to say, ‘Well, I’m really sorry, we’re going to work on getting this, but we can’t give it to you,’ is absolutely like a knife in the heart,” Josh’s mom said.

Josh just had his first visit with his immediate family in more than two months.  He’ll be 8 at the end of March.  Aimee says she had to leave the room after she was overcome with emotion while thinking about the possibility of him not making it.

“I have every belief in the world that he can make a full recovery, and all I want is—we just want this drug to be the thing that will cut him the break that he needs,” she told FOX 5.

Josh’s family is using Twitter and Facebook to ask for prayers and support.  Their hometown community in Fredericksburg has rallied around them.  On Sunday, Josh’s grandparents attended service at the Fairview Baptist Church.  A special prayer vigil for Josh was held there on Sunday as well.

“What better advertisement for a drug company to show a drug works,” said Josh’s grandmother.

“It’s a dire situation, and we really would be forever grateful if you would just release it and let us have it,” said Josh’s mom.  “Please, please, please, please.”

HOW YOU CAN HELP
Josh’s family is asking everyone to help share his story.  Here’s how you can join them:

Like the Save Josh Facebook page

Follow them on Twitter @wrbesq


Tweet his story and use the hashtag #SaveJosh

Tweet Chimerix @chimerix

Get updates on his CaringBridge page:
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/joshuahardy

A petition has been started to get the White House to intervene in the quest to get Josh the drug.  Click here to sign it.

The Hardy family s encouraging supporters to call Chimerix at 919-806-1074; supporters can also email compassionateuserequest@chimerix.com.


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