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The Real Reason FDA Attacked Nasal Sprays

The Real Reason FDA Attacked Nasal Sprays
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As is too often the case with this agency, you need only follow the money. Action Alert!

Last year, we reported on the FDA attacking companies marketing nasal spray products proven to help with COVID as part of the federal government’s wider campaign to censor and block natural therapies for the virus, since they aren’t FDA-approved drugs. Now, we have a more specific indication of why: there is ongoing research on a nasal spray containing a novel compound to fight COVID; another anti-COVID nasal spray is coming to market in Europe. We believe the FDA is once again acting to protect drug industry interests by blocking competition from natural products, no matter how much harm is caused. It is another reason why we need to fight for free speech about natural products.

The travesty here is that the FDA and other government agencies don’t want us using affordable, safe, and easily available products to stay healthy. The FDA wants to protect the drug industry, because the drug industry is responsible for funding a substantial portion (46%) of the FDA’s budget, and 65% of the funding for human drug regulatory activities are derived from user fees. 

This is why the FDA prevents us from fully utilizing already-available nasal sprays for COVID: they’re waiting to collect their user fees (which can be as much as $3 million per product, with another $369,000 in program fees), and then the drug’s sponsor can charge monopoly prices. Products at a similar price point show that this will be worth the investment, especially since COVID may start getting treated like a seasonal illness such as the flu: FluMist, the nasal flu vaccine, made $110 million in 2018; the global market for Tamiflu, the oral flu drug, was valued at $1.1 billion in 2018.

But just consider the damage that has been done by this shameless cronyism in blocking Americans from learning how to use available nasal sprays to stay healthy. It is reminiscent of the government’s refusal to acknowledge the success of early COVID treatment with repurposed drugs like hydroxychloroquine. Some estimate that up to 85 percent of COVID deaths could have been prevented if early treatment was embraced. How many more cases and deaths could have been prevented if the government told the public about using nasal sprays as part of a preventive strategy?

To briefly recap: in 2021, the FDA and the FTC sent warning letters to at least five companies marketing a wide range of antiseptic nasal sprays containing xylitol, saline, povidone-iodine, or some combination of these ingredients. The companies cited studies (like this one from the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association) demonstrating their nasal sprays were able to neutralize and kill the coronavirus. We also have learned that the nose is the dominant site where the virus replicates and infects other areas of the body.

The feds didn’t stop at censorship. Primary care physicians and pulmonologists petitioned the CDC to issue guidance on the use of nasal sprays to blunt the virus’s impact. The CDC didn’t budge.

Unfortunately, it seems to be the case that the government is more concerned with protecting drug industry profits than with promoting public health with affordable, natural healthcare. This cronyism has to stop.

Action Alert! Write to the FTC, CDC, and FDA, urging them to alert the public about the benefits of nasal irrigation for staying healthy during the pandemic. Please send your message immediately.

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