Josh Hardy, 7, is clinging to life in a hospital room even though medication to help him recover from a curable virus exists. Chimerix, the pharmaceutical company that produces the medicine the young cancer patient needs, put a $50,000 price tag on the life-saving treatment.
The family did not have the funds to pay for the expensive medication. Josh’s fate appeared to improve when a charity stepped in and offered to donate the tens of thousands of dollars needed to buy Chimerix, but the drug maker refused to hand over the medication. His doctor’s and family fear that he will not live out the week.
Throughout his young life, Josh Hardy has spent many weeks in the hospital. The little boy survived heart failure and four bouts of kidney cancer, according to Fox News. In late November, Josh developed a bone marrow disorder as a result of his ongoing cancer treatments.
He underwent both a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. Even though the treatments were a success, Hardy developed the adenovirus. The condition is an acute infection that can be deadly for patients with a compromised immune system.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital doctors want Josh to be given Brincidofovir – and antiviral drug that has reportedly been proven to eradicate the adenovirus in children in about two weeks. But the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved Brincidofovir, and have reportedly been preventing the young cancer patient from receiving the potentially life-saving medication.
Aimee Hardy, Josh’s mother, directly appealed to Chimerix CEO Kenneth Moch, appealing to grant her son emergency access to Brincidofovir. The drug maker has reportedly granted “hundreds” of patient’s emergency access to the medication during the past several years, but now Moch has stopped the practice.
According to the Chimerix CEO, the pharmaceutical company “cannot afford” to keep giving away the medication. The Max Cure Foundation, a research organization focusing on rare pediatric cancers, offered to pay Kenneth Moch’s company for the drug multiple times, but they will not budge. When a representative from the foundation asked Moch to picture Josh Hardy as his own son or grandson, the pharmaceutical CEO hung up on the cancer charity officer Richard Plotkin.
Plotkin had this to say about his conversation with the Chimerix CEO:
“I spoke to Mr. Moch yesterday by phone. I told him that we had the $50,000 that I thought he was claiming he needed to supply the drug. He then told me it isn’t about money. He told me it’s all about ethics. I said, ‘Fine, tell me why you will not give [it to] this little boy.’ If he does not get the drug, he will die this week, I’m told. He said he cannot make an exception.”
The “Save Josh” campaign was launched by the boy’s mother online, a hashtag by the same name has been trending on Twitter. Supporters have chartered buses to travel to the Chimreix headquarters to protest the company’s decision to withhold the life-saving drug.
[Images Via: Facebook]