'I Will Spend Whatever It Takes': Clive Palmer To Fund Malaria Medication Which May Help Treat Coronavirus
Clive Palmer has pledged to fund the manufacturing or purchase of one million doses of a malaria drug that, according to early studies, could help to prevent or reduce the severity of Covid-19.
In a statement released today the billionaire, who had his assets frozen by the Supreme Court in 2018 after Queensland Nickel collapsed, said he agreed to fund the drug called Hydroxychloroquine.
Palmer has enlisted Brisbane pharmacist Jeremey Sheridan to lead the effort in which he will oversee the large-scale manufacturing of Hydroxychloroquine in Australia and the acquisition of the drug as soon as possible.
Sheridan explained that undergoing clinical trials in about 50 Australian hospitals would take four to five months to complete, so it is essential that arrangements for the large-scale manufacturing or acquisition of Hydroxychloroquine "proceed quickly".
“We cannot wait. To delay now could cost Australian lives in the coming months. We cannot wait to start the process of large-scale acquisition of the drug," Sheridan added.
“When the drug is required it needs to be available."
Last Friday Palmer confirmed he had discussions with Health Minister Greg Hunt, as well as other government officials, in order to cut through any red tape.
Palmer said the move would result in over 30,000,000 doses being placed in the National Health Stockpile.
“I will spend whatever it takes and do the best that I can to ensure that when the time comes, we as Australians can respond to the challenge that faces us all," he said.
He then underscored that there are many other Australians besides him who can help provide financial support to the medical and health care industry.
When asked if he was concerned that the millions of dollars he was committing to fight Covid-19 might not achieve all that he hoped, Palmer said: “If we are wrong, I lose some money, but if we are right we may save the lives of thousands of our citizens. Australia must move now with urgency.”