A Covid Patient Goes Home After a Rare Double Lung Transplant

The last thing that Mayra Ramirez remembers from the emergency room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago is calling her family to say she had Covid, was about to be put on a ventilator and needed her mother to make medical decisions for her.

Ms. Ramirez, 28, did not wake up for more than six weeks. And then she learned that on June 5, she had become the first Covid patient in the United States to receive a double-lung transplant.

On Wednesday, she went home from the hospital.

Ms. Ramirez is one of a small but growing number of patients whose lungs have been destroyed by the coronavirus, and whose only hope of survival is a lung transplant.

“I’m pretty sure that if I had been at another center, they would have just ended care and let me die,” she said in an interview on Wednesday.

The surgery is considered

Read More

Patient Is Reported Free of H.I.V., but Scientists Urge Caution

A 36-year-old man in Brazil may be the first to experience long-term remission from H.I.V. after treatment with only a specially designed cocktail of antiviral drugs, researchers said on Tuesday.

Just two people have been confirmed cured of H.I.V. so far, both after risky treatments involving bone-marrow transplants for their cancers.

The Brazilian patient, who was not identified, has not shown signs of lingering H.I.V. infection in blood tests that detect the virus, according to investigators at the Federal University of Sao Paulo, a prestigious research institution. He also does not seem to have detectable antibodies to the virus.

“Although still an isolated case, this might represent the first long-term H.I.V. remission” without a bone-marrow transplant, the scientists said. They presented the results at AIDS 2020, an annual medical conference held virtually this week because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But outside experts greeted the report with skepticism.

The absence of

Read More

Regeneron Funneled Kickbacks Through a Patient Charity, Federal Lawsuit Claims

The drugmaker Regeneron funneled tens of millions of dollars to a charity that paid the out-of-pocket costs for patients who took the company’s expensive eye drug, then lied to internal auditors about it, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by federal prosecutors in Massachusetts.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts in Boston, claims that Regeneron violated federal anti-kickback laws by using the patient-assistance fund to encourage doctors to prescribe their drug, Eylea, over a less-expensive competitor.

“Kickback schemes can undermine our health care system, compromise medical decisions, and waste taxpayer dollars,” said Phillip Coyne, the special agent in charge at the inspector general’s office in Boston for the Department of Health and Human Services.

In a statement, Regeneron dismissed the lawsuit’s claims and sought to draw attention to its efforts to develop a treatment for Covid-19.

“It is unfortunate that the government chose to

Read More

Covid-19 Patient Gets Double Lung Transplant, Offering Hope for Others

A young woman whose lungs were destroyed by the coronavirus received a double lung transplant last week at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, the hospital reported on Thursday, the first known lung transplant in the United States for Covid-19.

The 10-hour surgery was more difficult and took several hours longer than most lung transplants because inflammation from the disease had left the woman’s lungs “completely plastered to tissue around them, the heart, the chest wall and diaphragm,” said Dr. Ankit Bharat, the chief of thoracic surgery and surgical director of the lung transplant program at Northwestern Medicine, which includes Northwestern Memorial Hospital, in an interview.

He said the patient, a woman in her 20s who had no serious underlying medical conditions, was recovering well: “She’s awake, she’s smiling, she FaceTimed with her family.”

But she has a long way to go. She is still on a ventilator because even though

Read More