Little Boy Versus the Pharmaceutical Company Chimerix

This post might be better titled “David Versus Goliath, Part 2.” In case you haven’t heard, there is a little boy named Josh Hardy who lays dying at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Josh is seven years old, and in his very short lifespan has had four bouts with cancer, plus heart failure. Recently, he received a bone marrow transplant. Apparently during a routine examination in November 2013, it was discovered Josh had a bone marrow disorder of some kind—a result of earlier cancer treatments.

Before a bone marrow transplant, doctors basically lower your system, taking it down as low as they possible can without killing you, so that the new bone marrow won’t be attacked by your healthy immune system. Well, Josh developed a virus called adenovirus, something any healthy immune system would fight off, but Josh’s could not.Silhouette fedora

Tuesday morning I was sipping coffee and reading the sports section, when my wife got real emotional about something she saw on a morning news program. This just caused me to pull up the paper to hide and ignore the news program, of course, and I mumbled something under my breath that I care not to put in writing. She knows it kills me to see anything about children getting sick, so I prefer to shut it out or leave the room. Today, I wasn’t finished reading the sports scores, so I just ducked down and tried to shut it out, until she said, ”Look at that picture. He looks like a little boy we might have had.”

So I took the bait. I looked up, just as they were showing Josh in a baseball hat. I was hooked, struggling not to become emotional, but trapped in the story, just the same.

Now, the mother’s version of the story is that a drug company named Chimerix produces a drug called Brincidofovir that could likely save the little boy’s life. However, Chimerix was not willing to provide the medicine. Both the Mother and a news reporter had talked to the CEO of Chimerix, but they claimed they had donated too much of this drug and were concerned about future ramification; i.e., profits.

Naturally, I started to do a little research. I could not verify all of this, since I am guessing the CEO would not take a call from me, but later I found out that a charitable foundation called the Chimerix CEO and offered to donate a large sum of money to pay for this drug. They stood their ground. No drug!

Now don’t get me wrong; I support pharmaceutical companies that make great products—lifesaving, life-altering, life-sustaining products, and I understand they have to make a profit to do this. We have some of the best chemists, best doctors, and best visionaries who come up with these drugs, and these individuals don’t work cheap, nor should they. Lord knows, I have seen their work up close and personal in my wife’s own life, as she suffers from MS. So I was trying to stay neutral, until I found that the US government purportedly gave Chimerix over $72 million to develop the drug! With that fact, I took sides!

Get that drug to Josh, before it’s too late!

With this being a national story, it could be a great PR move for Chimerix, so there is really nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Well, this morning, back in my usual position with sports section in hand, trusted coffee cup on one side, my wife on the other, I heard that Chimerix agreed to get Josh the drug. I guess the outrage and the campaign that had picked up so much steam in the last 36 hours turned out to be the stone from David’s slingshot that fell the giant Goliath or Chimerix, after all.

Now all we can do is pray the drug will be administered in time.

2 Thoughts on “Little Boy Versus the Pharmaceutical Company Chimerix

  1. Hopefully he gets the drug in time. The old saying, “the squeeky wheel gets the grease” applies to this story.

  2. Charlene on March 13, 2014 at 2:16 pm said:

    I hope so too!

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