The National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiated clinical trials for long Covid – persistent symptoms following a COVID-19 infection – two years post receiving $1.15 billion from Congress for research and treatment. Yet, the outlook is met with skepticism from scientists and patients alike, raising questions about the efficacy of the trials. As part of NIH’s RECOVER initiative, the trials emphasize a restricted array of pharmaceutical and behavioral solutions, believed to fall short of addressing long Covid’s core biological problems. Concerns also exist about the trials possibly not capturing unique long COVID symptoms, therefore not identifying potential benefits or side effects. Many view the funds used for observational research instead of treatment trials as a resource misuse.
Patients and advocates deem NIH’s strategy inadequate and behind schedule, considering the urgent need for long COVID treatments. The absence of comprehensive drug trials and potential funding delays create apprehension about the timeline for effective treatments.
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[Source: STAT, August 9th, 2023]