Use of Experimental Ebola Drug Raises Red Flags Among Medical Experts

Use of Experimental Ebola Drug Raises Red Flags Among Medical Experts

This Oct. 7, 2013 photo provided by Jeremy Writebol show his mother, Nancy Writebol, with children in Liberia. Writebol is one of two Americans working for a missionary group in Liberia that have been diagnosed with Ebola. Plans are underway to bring back the two Americans from Africa for treatment. (AP Photo/Courtesy Jeremy Writebol)
This Oct. 7, 2013 photo provided by Jeremy Writebol show his mother, Nancy Writebol, with children in Liberia. Writebol is one of two Americans working for a missionary group in Liberia that have been diagnosed with Ebola. Plans are underway to bring back the two Americans from Africa for treatment. (AP Photo/Courtesy Jeremy Writebol)

 

(Los Angeles Times) – 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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