US Manufacturer Sends Experimental Ebola Drug Zmapp to Nigeria
The President Barrack Obama had last week said that the experimental drug Zmapp, which has helped to stabilize two American doctors and a Spanish priest, would not be sent to Africa because it was not ripe for it.
But a report by Bloomberg News indicates that the drug has been sent to a West African country that requested it. That country is believed to be Nigeria.
But why this may be a good development, there are conditions attached, even as the manufacturer of the drug, Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., indicated that the supply of the drug called ZMapp is now exhausted.
Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. disclosed that it was told by U.S. health officials that the West African countries which were demanding for the drug were Nigeria and Liberia.
According to the company, all requests forwarded to it as regards supply of the drugs has been complied with, and at no cost so long as such a request was backed by legal and regulatory authorities. It said it provided the drug at no cost.
The problem is that the drug is just an experimental one that has not even been properly tested on animals or humans, leading many to question the ethics of the move and how patients could be monitored in the long term, in the event that they are negatively affected by the drug.
“It is our understanding that all patients offered treatment, treated, or expected to be treated were or are highly capable of providing informed consent for the use of an experimental drug not yet evaluated for safety in animals or people,” the company said in a statement.
The additional patients allocated the drug include medical doctors in two West African countries as well as the Americans and the Spanish priest.
The company said that it is working to quickly increase production of the drug.
“Additional resources are being brought to bear on scaling up,” the company said. “The emergency use of an experimental medicine is a highly unusual situation.”
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