6 Aug 2014

REVEALED: Large pharmaceutical companies not trying to find Ebola vaccine 'because virus only affects Africans'

Britain's leading public health doctor blames the failure to find a vaccine against the Ebola virus on the "moral bankruptcy" of the pharmaceutical industry to invest in a disease because it has so far only affected people in Africa – despite hundreds of deaths.

Professor John Ashton, the president of the UK Faculty of Public Health, says the West needs to treat the deadly virus as if it were taking hold in the wealthiest parts of London rather than just Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. Writing in The Independent on Sunday, Professor Ashton compares the international response to Ebola to that of Aids, which was killing people in Africa for years before treatments were developed once it had spread to the US and UK in the 1980s.
He writes: "In both cases [Aids and Ebola], it seems that the involvement of powerless minority groups has contributed to a tardiness of response and a failure to mobilise an adequately resourced international medical response.

"In the case of Aids, it took years for proper research funding to be put in place and it was only when so-called 'innocent' groups were involved (women and children, haemophiliac patients and straight men) that the media, politicians, scientific community and funding bodies stood up and took notice."
The Ebola outbreak has so far claimed the lives of at least 887 people across Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO), although the number is likely to be far higher.

Development of a vaccine is in the early stages in the US, but this is on a small scale and there is little hope of one being ready to treat the current outbreak in West Africa. Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services, has said it has plans possibly to begin testing an experimental Ebola vaccine on people in mid-September, following encouraging results in pre-clinical trials on monkeys. Earlier this month, the US Food and Drug Administration put a hold on a trial upon healthy volunteers by Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation to ensure their potential Ebola treatment has no ill-effects, as it sought more information to ensure the safety of volunteers.

1 comment:

  1. Alexandra Claudino6 August 2014 at 19:10

    Is true. Everyone can see that, if Ebola was on large escale in another country, industry would react.

    ReplyDelete

Be sociable, share your opinion!
Post a Comment :)

Infolinks