Methylene Blue has anti-viral properties and is known to treat dyspnea, yet large scale clinical trials have not been authorized
Methylene Blue is known to have anti-viral properties. In a previous articles, I explained how it can potentially be used to treat Covid-19 given my experience with it. A pioneering treatment with MB to treat lung infections; access the article by clicking here. Here I talk about the challenges in getting large scale clinical trials approved for MB after having approached multiple global organizations.
MB is an easily available dye from the Thiazine family of dyes. However, despite many researches (here) pointing to it being an option for cure of coronavirus, there has been little progress on initiating research on it.
When asked large corporates what was their criteria to select a drug for trial below were the points :
- Timing (speed to clinic)
- Scientific evidence (extent of COVID-19 data generated)
- Resources (financial, expertise, capacity)
Despite MB satisfying all the above criterion, the research gets rejected. The reason cited is that there’s no documented evidence of it being used in the past to treat Covid-19 infections — although there is evidence of it working against hypoxia which is one of the most common symptom of Covid-19. It is indeed ironic, that we are not ready to use a Novel method (Methylene Blue) to treat a Novel coronavirus.
Ultimately in my observation, there are 4 factors that work against Methylene Blue trials.
It is a Generic Drug
What it means is it the name of a chemical and not a brand. It is easily available. Anyone can manufacture it in as much quantity as one wants and no one can charge a royalty/commission on it.
Due to this no institution is ready to invest in costly clinical trials. The chance of making a profit from a commonly available generic drugs is negligible to none.
It cannot be Patented
Methylene Blue simply cannot be patented. It’s like trying to patent water — you can’t. Patenting it would ensure commission — but since that’s not possible, its a lost cause.
It is cheap
In India, you can get IP grade 1% Methylene Blue injections for as low as $1. Since its a very powerful drug, this much quantity will need to be diluted by over 10 times. So potentially, you can prepare over 10 doses in $1 to get a 0.1% concentration. The concentration needed in nebulized form.
In the USA, MB injections are costlier (around $30); howsoever, they are still cheaper than other Vaccines being promoted. And the same economics will work there — 10 doses for $30 which is cheaper than other alternatives being proposed.
It is not a vaccine
You cannot take MB once in life (like a small pox vaccine). As a prophylactic (preventive measure) you would need to take it regularly till the pandemic lasts.
It is cheap, but you’d need to take it regularly as a preventive measure if you are not infected and more frequently if you have symptoms.
Given the above, it is unlikely there will be interest to promote clinical trials for MB. Looking at general trends and a search for a cheap, effective treatment — early signs indicate that Iran, Russia or North Korea may end up being the first few countries that promote this cost effective drug there.
MB in very high dosages is toxic and has side effects. Please use it only under strict medical supervision.
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