FDA Allows Pooled Tests and a Call for Prizes

The FDA has announced they will no longer forbid pooled testing:

In order to preserve testing resources, many developers are interested in performing their testing using a technique of “pooling” samples. This technique allows a lab to mix several samples together in a “batch” or pooled sample and then test the pooled sample with a diagnostic test. For example, four samples may be tested together, using only the resources needed for a single test. If the pooled sample is negative, it can be deduced that all patients were negative. If the pooled sample comes back positive, then each sample needs to be tested individually to find out which was positive.

…Today, the FDA is taking another step forward by updating templates for test developers that outline the validation expectations for these testing options to help facilitate the preparation, submission, and authorization under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

This is good and will increase the effective number of tests by at least a factor of 2-3 and perhaps more.

In other news, Representative Beyer (D-VA), Representative Gonzalez (R-OH) and Paul Romer have an op-ed calling for more prizes for testing:

Offering a federal prize solves a critical part of that problem: laboratories lack the incentive and the funds for research and development of a rapid diagnostic test that will, in the best-case scenario, be rendered virtually unnecessary in a year.

…We believe in the ability of the American scientific community and economy to respond to the challenge presented by the coronavirus. Congress just has to give them the incentive.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have already begun a similar strategy with their $1.4 billion “shark tank,” awarding speedy regulatory approval to five companies that can produce these tests. Expanding the concept to academic labs through a National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST)-sponsored competition has the added benefit ultimately funding more groundbreaking research once the prize money has been awarded.

This is all good but frustrating. I made the case for prizes in Grand Innovation Prizes for Pandemics in March and Tyler and I have been pushing for pooled testing since late March. We were by no means the first to promote these ideas. I am grateful things are happening and relative to normal procedure I know this is fast but in pandemic time it is molasses slow.

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"relative to normal procedure I know this is fast but in pandemic time it is molasses slow."

Stationary bandits aren't especially likely to be competent.

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Or is that not celebrated here?

And really, who doesn't believe that members of Congress are as dumb as rocks? - We believe in the ability of the American scientific community and economy to respond to the challenge presented by the coronavirus.

Wow, prior you really are doubling down on the ankle biting aren't you. But why not just use your normal handle. Or did prior_approval get banned?

Prior_approval handle was banned

Not really!

Well you can still post under it. so it wasn't banned. I suspect that many of his posts were deleted off topic and hostile commentary that he started changing handles continuously to make it harder for whomever was wading through the comments to find them.

On the plus side, it also resulted in the end of the wall of text rebuttals he used to post when he couldn't rebut the actual logic of another post.

This comment section is so easy to sock puppet, it must be run by a former pets.com marketing executive.

And the number of people who care about sockpuppets means that pets.com had a viable marketing campaign.

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"Offering a federal prize solves a critical part of that problem: laboratories lack the incentive and the funds for research and development "

How does offering a prize solve the problem of labs without funds? If you don't have funds in the first place you don't even get an opportunity to compete. Are we giving them prizes based on their ideas before they go to trial or are we paying well known labs even before that? Don't get me wrong, I'm not against prizes but in the econ circles online this idea of a prize seems to get unthinking nods all around. Let's not skip the implementation details like we're management consultants.

The same way you get tens of billions in monopoly profits from patents and market exclusivity!

The problem Alex has is drug patent profits in the tens of billions requires drug companies working hard to get the taxpayers to pay the super high drug prices.

The solution is thus to have tax players pay billions in prize money up front without any thing being delivered for sale at high profit prices.

I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I'm working online! My work didn't exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…... DFc after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn't be happier.

Here’s what I do…............ b­i­z­p­r­o­f­i­t­9.c­o­m

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The situation is under control. Mr. Queiroz had already been fired. There are no facts whatsoever linking him to Senator Bolsonaro.

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The news is telling me Fresno, CA area had a hundred new cases and four deaths. We are running faster than auto deaths, by a count or two.. We still are keeping our 400 bed surplus in the convention center.

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I am proposing a Manhattan project to crack the covid shell. The shell is not coherent with human metabolism and maintaining a natural shell cracker is difficult. There is an answer, the protein pros will dig it up, but it will be more like a seasonal vaccine.

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Wait, there's a constriction on the availability of tests?

Someone should notify the Trump administration.

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do you want quick, cheaper answers to your medical testing questions ... or are accurate answers the prime objective?

Pooled samples have significant drawbacks in accuracy, otherwise they would be the normal test proceedure, due to cost effectiveness,

Pooled samples lose the variation effects between individuals sampled ... which might be of greater magnitudr than the primary treatment effect being tested.

You can have cheap answers
You can have fast answers
or you can have accurate answers....

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I don't think the issue is cheap vs accurate. It's more "faster most of the time" vs "slower some of the time."

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I'd heard probably a month ago that US was only using 1/3 of the available tests. Companies like Quest diagnostics indicate high demand, but well under capacity.

In Seattle, everyone that has been to protests is getting tested and it's encouraged on the news (and when you ask for a test, they don't care what, if anything, you've been doing--iow anyone can get a test). Appointments are booked usually 1-2 days out. I got a antibody test about 4-6 weeks ago and offered to pay at the end, and they said "it's covered" and this was at a walk up clinic (LabQuest) that I had no previous relationship with.

Nobody is seeing any bills for tests. As fast as these companies can turn the handle, they are getting paid by the feds. Which I guess is what you want.

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At least we know that free market, for profit, capitalism can't even solve problems of the past, much less problems of the future.

SARS is a past problem solved by government which foreshadowed MERS and SARS-Cov2 which was known to the observant six months ago.

Clearly everyone knows free market for profit capitalism can't solve the problems of SARS-Cov2 pandemic, and only government spending can.

Note, the US is only 330 million out of 7 billion, and only 50 or so out of over 250 or so sovereign states.

After all, if Peabody coal had a cure or vaccine for SARS-Cov2, Trump would instantly get it approved for market and force government and insurers to pay high profit prices to Peabody coal.

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"I personally think testing is overrated, even though I created the greatest testing machine in history” - some very stable genius today.

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are 25 million tests/day what elite harvard sociologists call an
"aspirational" goal or an actual real goal?

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I am glad to see the abolish bail project taking off.

https://rightwingtribune.com/2020/06/18/31-yr-old-male/

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