People are asking why early safe cheap treatments could have been suppressed, after all, people are dying. A better question is to ask how could any cheap alternative treatment ever be selected? The money-pot on offer is so stupendously, fantastically big, it can buy small nations. And the cheap drugs don't just compete with it, they obliterate it.
In the current system, legally, the FDA can't give EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) for any vaccine if there is a safe useful alternative. The EUA approval is simply extinguished by any treatment that works. Therefore billions of dollars in profits depends on making sure there are no cheap safe alternatives.
It's not a question of whether Big Pharma are pulling levers to crush cheap drugs. With billions at stake, Pfizer and other companies would be crazy, nutso, bonkers, and doing their shareholders a disservice if they did not lobby, cajole, scare, smear and call in all their favours to make sure there would never be a cheap safe alternative.