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It’s still uncertain how effective ZMapp is, because only a handful of people have taken it. But doctors would have had a better idea if it hadn’t been stuck in the federal bureaucracy for four years. The drug’s path through the research labs of the Washington-Baltimore corridor shows that the federal government still isn’t good at producing drugs. Barda needs money. DTRA can’t move quickly. And the U.S., until now, hasn’t made Ebola a priority. “That’s why we don’t have an Ebola countermeasure,” says Kadlec. “We failed to invest enough dollars to have it mature.”Barda now has given Mapp Biopharmaceutical a $25 million contract to start clinical trials with ZMapp. This is encouraging, but it hasn’t fixed the problem. The Pentagon and the HHS have a list of threats, and no real way to work down the list, devising treatments and getting them through the FDA’s approval process.
Every outbreak will make every administration look feckless and incompetent. But the U.S., at the very least, needs to admit to itself that to improve readiness, it needs to function like a drugmaker—and be good at it. “As long as there’s not sufficient money to address every one of the targeted diseases,” says Senator Burr, “it’s going to force the system to make a decision based on what’s the greatest threat today.”
originally posted by: marg6043
I guess when people were dying in Africa since 1979, nobody really care at all until now ebola is no only at our doors but is already in the living room.
originally posted by: SpaDe_
a reply to: marg6043
They disappeared alright, right into the hands of the highest bidders I am willing to bet. With this thing landing in the states I am sure that what little they had sold in a hot second at a very premium price behind closed doors. You don't just run out of 1000 doses with no trail or story of where they were "used".
The Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday that the flow of drugs to fight the Ebola outbreak will be slow to reach West Africa and other affected countries. In an interview on NBC’s "Meet the Press," Dr. Tom Frieden said that recent successes in treatment were encouraging, but that a new supply of drugs was not on the horizon.
"The drug pipeline is going to be slow, I'm afraid,” Frieden told NBC’s Chuck Todd. "The most promising drug, ZMapp, there’s no more of it, and it’s hard to make, it takes months to make just a bit." He indicated that agencies were pursuing other avenues to fight the spread of Ebola, including multiple vaccines that are in the trial stage.
As of Sunday, the CDC reports 7,492 cases of Ebola have been documented worldwide, including one confirmed case in Dallas, Texas. Despite fears in the United States, Frieden is confident that the American system can handle the situation. "The bottom line here is we know how to stop it, it’s not going to spread widely in the U.S. for two basic reasons," he said. "We can do infection control in hospitals, and we can do public health interventions that can stop it in its tracks."