Use of Experimental Ebola Drug Raises Red Flags Among Medical Experts

What looks like a simple case of humanitarian goodwill could lead to some unintended and very negative consequences, experts said Tuesday.

Two American aid workers were gravely ill, fighting to survive infection with the deadly Ebola virus. A San Diego drug company had three doses of an experimental Ebola medicine that showed promise in monkeys but had never been tested in humans.

Getting the medication to the two patients in Liberia seemed like the obvious thing to do. Members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and the Christian aid organization Samaritan's Purse worked together to make it happen.

Patient advocates who believe the drug is helpful are asking when it can be made available to the hundreds of West Africans who are ill.

But what looks like a simple case of humanitarian goodwill could lead to some unintended and very negative consequences, experts said Tuesday.

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Source: The Los Angeles Times