Pseudoscience

A Cure for AIDS that Big Pharma Doesn’t Want! Sounds Familiar?

I was sent a link to the following story by someone who wanted my opinion on it. The article is in French but I will highlight its claims.

“Son remède contre le sida, les labos n’en veulent pas”

Translation: “Labs don’t want his AIDS remedy.”

This is yet another David-versus-Goliath “news” report on a maverick humanitarian who just happens to have stumbled upon a cure for a debilitating or fatal disease that just so happens to be dirt cheap, and so Big Pharma does not even return his calls because it can’t make trillions of dollars selling his cure. Let the people die from their sickness! It’s not like pharmaceutical company employees have families and friends of their own who may also be sick; rather every pharma employee in the world is a soulless, corporate drone addicted to money.

This particular article tells the story of a Robert Vachy, a hardcore mountain-climber (which has no bearing on the story except to anchor your mind on this idea of a lone man who conquers the odds) who tinkered in his kitchen and created, get this, his very own sunscreen! The story specifies that he was the head of R&D for Sandoz, now part of Novartis, so there is some reason to believe that he had a sufficient background, if the story is to be trusted, to engage in a bit of combinatorial chemistry in his spare time. The article does not explain why he felt the need to create his own sunscreen.

However, it turns out that his homemade sunscreen was not just great at repelling dastardly UV light; it was a universal virus killer. That’s right: from herpes to the common cold to HIV, the active ingredient in his homemade sunscreen could kill any virus. He even expects it to work against the Ebola virus!

The problem, of course, is that his miracle molecule costs only a few Euros: no pharmaceutical company in their right mind would want to sell it, since they would stop raking in the dough from their much more lucrative triple therapy. So the poor 81-year-old sap has sold his apartment “in Montmartre” (cue “La Bohème), invested all of his life savings into his small lab, and is now a pauper begging, just begging for the money he needs to cure AIDS.

Do you know why I know for a fact that this is quackery at its most typical? The article claims that none other than Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, the co-discoverer of the HIV, tested this miracle molecule in her lab in 1995, found that minimal amounts of it would kill 99.99% of HIV… and didn’t publish this revolutionary finding in any peer-reviewed journal.

I checked Medline.

There are no articles with “Amovir” (the name of the molecule) and either her name or Robert Vachy’s name. If you can find this article, please send it to me. As it stands, it looks as if the co-discoverer of the HIV had the miracle cure in her lab and decided against publishing these findings. It must be a conspiracy by Big Pharma.

The mistake Vachy made was in going to the wrong co-discoverer of the HIV. If he’d gone to Luc Montagnier instead, the two of them would be in China right now, investigating homeopathic Amovir to cure the Ebola virus.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “A Cure for AIDS that Big Pharma Doesn’t Want! Sounds Familiar?

  1. Another element is that somebody who would have been a research director at a major pharma company would have an amazing network and would know the business in and out. Hard to believe he could not find some “pocket change” to finance the development of a miraculous molecule.

  2. This theory also forgets that the pharmaceutical companies that develop vaccines are not always the same as the companies that have anti-HIV drugs in their portfolio. So if ever a vaccine was developed, it wouldn’t impact their business, it would actually increase their sales.
    Plus, who is stupid enough to think that a HIV vaccine wouldn’t be sold with a crazy price that would pump up the profits of that company?
    And because generic drugs will come one day or another for every antiretroviral drug, any pharma company has the incentive to come up with a new solution.
    I find it quite dramatic that the magazine Capital wrote this article.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s