Influence of conflicts of interest on public positions in the COVID-19 era, the case of Gilead Sciences

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Fundings and gifts from the pharmaceutical industry have an influence on the decisions made by physicians and medical experts. In the context of the COVID-19 epidemic, several treatments are available to treat patients infected with the virus. Some are protected by patents, such as remdesivir, others are not, such as hydroxychloroquine. We wanted to observe the possible correlation between the fact, for an academic doctor in infectious diseases, of having benefited from funding by Gilead Sciences, producer of remdesivir, and the public positions taken by this doctor towards hydroxychloroquine.

Our results show a correlation (correlation coefficient = 1) between the amount received from the Gilead Sciences company and public opposition to the use of hydroxychloroquine in France.

This should open up the debate on the role of the interest links of doctors with pharmaceutical companies in the medical and scientific public debate.

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