Pepcid as a virus remedy? Trump admin’s $21M gamble fizzled

Coronavirus

This June 15, 2020 photo shows a bottle and tablets of Pepcid antacid in Washington. The U.S. government’s Pepcid project has revealed what critics describe as the Trump administration’s disregard for science and anti-corruption rules meant to guard against taxpayer dollars going to political cronies or funding projects that aren’t rigorously designed. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (AP) ─ The Trump Administration pushed through a $21 million contract to study whether the active ingredient in Pepcid is an effective treatment for COVID-19.

The Food and Drug Administration gave the clinical trial speedy approval even as a top agency official worried that daily injections of high doses of famotidine for already sick patients pushed the levels of what was considered safe “to the limits,” internal government emails show.

That contract is now under scrutiny after a government whistleblower accused a senior administration official of rushing the deal through without the scientific oversight necessary for such a large federal award.

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