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Why hasn't there been research on the effectiveness of zinc for Covid-19?

by Rudi C1 min read24th Aug 20206 comments

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CoronavirusEconomicsInefficiency(tag work needed)World Modeling
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There was significant interest in zinc early on. It seemed like one of the most promising avenues for protecting oneself against Covid-19. Searching on both Google and Lesswrong itself, I do not see new research on it. (This is the closest thing I found; A metareview that says there is almost no research whatsoever.) Its epistemic status seems frozen in the pre-Covid past: promising experimental treatment with no significant evidence confirming or disconfirming it, and no largescale commercialization and deployment.

 

This seems quite an inefficient result, if my understanding is correct. What has gone wrong?

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My guess: Zinc isn't patentable, nobody can make money from selling it so nobody will do research to see if it works.