The key things these guys are doing:
Promoting an optimistic outlook based on observation:
When Callahan and the Chinese doctors looked closer, they found that many of the people with lower incomes were taking famotidine, whereas the wealthier patients tended to take a different, more expensive drug.
“The poor peasants really seemed to do well on famotidine,” Tracey said. “There are a lot of anecdotes passing around that give us some hope.”
“We don’t know if it has any benefit. We really don’t. I swear we don’t,” he said. “People are hoping for anything. But we need to do this clinical trial.”
And finally and more importantly- making sure it’s done safely under medical supervision:
He also emphasized that the patients in the study are in the hospital taking mega-doses intravenously – doses about nine times what someone would normally take for heartburn.
“You should not go to the drugstore and take a bunch of heartburn medicine,” he said.
While also not looking for glory, but keeping this trial a secret as long as possible to avoid desperate people from making a run on a readily available medicine that other patients need to treat conditions for which this medicine is approved:
He added that Northwell kept the study quiet until now because of the experience with doctors rushing to put patients on hydroxychloroquine. He doesn’t want that same rush for intravenous famotidine – it’s unclear if it works, and if there’s a rush on the drug, his research team might not have enough for their study subjects
He’s also concerned that people who don’t have heartburn will rush to stores to buy famotidine pills, mistakenly convinced it will help against coronavirus.
That could leave heartburn patients in the lurch, especially since the FDA pulled Zantac – a different heartburn medicine – off the market earlier this month due to possible contamination.
For those who aren’t getting it, this is how grown-ups provide hope. Hope firmly grounded in reality…and keeping in mind the most important thing…doing what’s right, even if it’s not easy to do what’s right.
“That’s the reality of trying to do the right thing in a pandemic. It’s very, very hard,” he said.
I must say- a very refreshing approach by the Northwell staff.modeling correct behaviors for all of us.