The pharmaceutical industry will police itself when it comes to coronavirus treatments and vaccines, Eli Lilly chairman and CEO and PhRMA chairman-elect David Ricks told "Axios on HBO."
Why it matters: Recent controversial decisions by the Food and Drug Administration, following complaints by President Trump that the agency was moving too slowly, have ignited fears that approval of coronavirus treatments and vaccines could be influenced by politics.
What they're saying: "I think most of the principals in our industry and their scientific teams would say we're not going to make something or we're not going to sell it until we've proven to our own standards it's safe and effective, subjected it to scientific scrutiny from the outside world. And then we submit it also to the regulator," Ricks said.
- "If we were making scientific decisions, medical decisions about health purely based on non medical or scientific things, that would be very concerning ... I think our industry has an interest in preserving that as an objective process," he added.
- Eli Lilly is currently running a phase 3 clinical trial of a coronavirus treatment that would essentially serve as a synthetic antibody in patients.
Between the lines: This is a high-stakes, high-pressure process, and there have already been big deviations from the normal drug-making process — like leaked anecdotal information and what Politico called "science by press release."
Related: Ricks also said that it'd be smart to share a vaccine with other countries rather than going America first, Axios' Justin Green writes.
- But 66% of Americans don't want to share a vaccine right away with the rest of the world if the U.S. gets there first, according to a recent Harris poll.