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Obama: Too early to send experimental Ebola drug to Africa

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Right so there's a drug that could help, but Obama would rather infected countries sorted out their infrastructure? Meanwhile people are dying. Get your priorities sorted... if there's a drug that could help then use it!

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Nobody knows if the drug could help yet.

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Yes, but babbling on about 'infrastructure' and discovery of new cases being late etc is of no help in this situation.

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Surely there is three case scenario : They (Africans) either die out of Ebola or "Drug" injection, or they survive thanks to "Drug" injection, which US president refuses to test or send to them. Obviously price of creation is the problem.

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We still do not know if the serum injection works.

These two Americans who are being treated in Emory Hospital in Atlanta, GA have agreed to take a risk prior to the medical treatment. There is a huge liability issue I see here. Hope it works.

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globalwatcherAug. 07, 2014 - 10:22PM JST These two Americans who are being treated in Emory Hospital in Atlanta, GA have agreed to take a risk prior to the medical treatment. There is a huge liability issue I see here. Hope it works.

... so if you're American then the U.S. President is fine with you using the drug, but if you're a poor African trapped in a destitute country with no infrastructure (and no hope of rapidly developing infrastructure magically in the next few months) then you can just die?

Well, this ends the birther debate, spouting this much hypocrisy he HAS to be an American.

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so if you're American then the U.S. President is fine with you using the drug, but if you're a poor African trapped in a destitute country with no infrastructure (and no hope of rapidly developing infrastructure magically in the next few months) then you can just die?

Well, this ends the birther debate, spouting this much hypocrisy he HAS to be an American.

Apparently, you are not familiar with US law and missed what I have said in my post. I repost it again so that you may be able to comprehend the whole issue. FDA has not approved this treatment at all yet.

These two Americans who are being treated in Emory Hospital in Atlanta, GA have agreed to take a risk prior to the medical treatment. There is a huge liability issue I see here. Hope it works.

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This is not a film, they either die suffering a disease or a medicine. Or they might live through it using medicine. People responsible are as inhumane as the president. Not they only give a hope to ill but also test their medicine.

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globalwatcherAug. 07, 2014 - 10:56PM JST Apparently, you are not familiar with US law and missed what I have said in my post. I repost it again so that you may be able to comprehend the whole issue. FDA has not approved this treatment at all yet.

This may come as a surprise to you globalwatcher, but U.S. law doesn't actually have ANY relevance to administering the drug in other countries. U.S. pharmaceuticals companies have been using this fact for decades to test experimental new treatments on human beings in low-income countries like India for decades.

I just love how Americans automatically assume that U.S. law and the decisions of the FDA can dictate whether another country can decide to use a drug. Do you really think like this? That U.S. law = Global law? That's a scarily arrogant thought process you've going on there mate.

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Daniel NaumoffAug. 07, 2014 - 10:59PM JST

This is not a film, they either die suffering a disease or a medicine. Or they might live through it using medicine. People responsible are as inhumane as the president. Not they only give a hope to ill but also test their medicine.

This is a last chance and alternative for them. The families were preparing funeral arrangements. Wouldn't you take this risk?

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That is what I am talking about. They die anyway, give them the medicine.

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Shocking. I actually agree with Obama on something, though likely for different reasons. The two American healthcare workers accepted the risks of taking an experimental serum voluntarily and informed. Providing it liberally, untested, could kill more than the disease itself. And it's very true that litigation would certainly follow if the results were to prove the serum at best ineffective, or at worse, more harmful. So, it's a Lose-lose situation.

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FrungyAug. 07, 2014 - 11:15PM JST

I just love how Americans automatically assume that U.S. law and the decisions of the FDA can dictate whether another country can decide to use a drug. Do you really think like this? That U.S. law = Global law? That's a scarily arrogant thought process you've going on there mate

No, they do not. If they do, it needs to escalated to UN Human Rights Department. Can you provide me with a website, so I can file an official complaint against these global pharmaceutical companies. Thanks.

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This is the same administration that didn't want to give a lung transplant to save a little girls life because of some bureaucratic rule. The child's parents sued and the girl is alive today. If Obama had his way she would be dead.

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What are the death percentage when contracting ebola and once you recover from it, do you create immunity?

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globalwatcherAug. 07, 2014 - 11:49PM JST No, they do not. If they do, it needs to escalated to UN Human Rights Department. Can you provide me with a website, so I can file an official complaint against these global pharmaceutical companies. Thanks.

This is so well documented that it is actually a bit scary that you have never heard of it:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/02/testing-drugs-on-the-developing-world/273329/

http://www.yalemedlaw.com/the-ethics-of-pharmaceutical-testing-in-the-developing-world/

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/drug-companies-perform-medical-tests-in-developing-countries-a-899798.html

I could list another dozen sites showing that this is a common trend, but I think I've proved my point. Drug companies have been doing this for such a long time that the U.S. President's excuse rings completely false. They're happy to give untested drugs to people when they can cut costs to make a fast buck, but when it comes to saving lives they're all ethical? Give me a break.

The bottom line here is the bottom line, there's simply no profit in helping these people so the U.$.A. isn't interested.

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T_remaxytime, as I have heard, 9 out of 10 die from Ebola. It gives a little hope that with that "Drug" they are developing, be it given now, maybe if even 9 out of 10 die anyway, they would help to develop a better cure for future. Yet, something is stopping "healthy" people from trying to help ill ones.

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Daniel NaumoffAug. 08, 2014 - 02:17AM JST

Yet, something is stopping "healthy" people from trying to help ill ones

We do not conclude this experiment brings positive outcome, we just do not know. It may bring life long negative outcome.

FrungyAug. 08, 2014 - 02:13AM JST

globalwatcherAug. 07, 2014 - 11:49PM JST No, they do not. If they do, it needs to escalated to UN Human Rights Department. Can you provide me with a website, so I can file an official complaint against these global pharmaceutical companies. Thanks.

This is so well documented that it is actually a bit scary that you have never heard of it:

Please list them all. I will evaluate them all prior to submission to UN Human Rights violation Department. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

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The only reason there isn't a cure for ebola is because its in very poor parts of Africa but if it were in America or Europe then Big Pharm. would be working its rocks off, 24/7 to find it?

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The comments on this story show a strong anti-American bias. The reporting does as well. Instead a story that goes, "US company have possible ebola cure but testing is still needed" we get a story that makes the US out to be greedy and not wanting to share the cure due to Africans being black, poor, etc etc. Never mind the logistics of making the drug and delivering it to people who need, which some have simply glossed over there is a long history of aid going to places only to be taken by the very leaders of those places instead of making its way to the people who need it. Secondly, the company that makes it is not a US government owned firm, its a private company. The US government simply can't take their researched based product and give it away. Third, this is not some conspiracy that has the rich lording over the poor its a matter of supply. The company that makes the drug is small. IT has only been tested on apes and now has three human guinea pigs who are the first humans ever to take it. One doesn't have to try hard in this anti-american world to see if the US had the ability, which it doesn't, to simply ship the drug to Africa that the same critics who bash the USA now for seemingly not caring would be harping about the US using Africans in a big pharma experiment. I for one am sick of the hate toward the US. Develop your own drugs if you have a problem with ours

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I think it is probably because the US doesn't want to pay to send this drug to poor countries. I also think the only reason Japan, China, Europe, you name it aren't in the same position of withholding aid is because they haven't had the money to develop this drug. Wonderful world we live in, ain't it?

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The experimental drug could also make things worse.

Consider a possibility: the drug causes the virus to develop some sort of immunity or work-around the weakness the drug targets, thus making a new set of virus stronger. Or somehow causes the virus to mutate, and the new mutation kills the host even faster or allows the virus to be spread airborne.

In a controlled environment like an isolated lab, these can be contained. In open environments with numerous specimens, these can spread to the wild before we know what's happening. If it's still too early in testing and there are still too much unknown with an experimental drug, it makes sense to be cautious with its unintended effects.

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notasapAug. 08, 2014 - 04:13AM JST

IT has only been tested on apes and now has three human guinea pigs who are the first humans ever to take it.

These 2 Americans were willing to take a huge unknown risk.

One doesn't have to try hard in this anti-american world to see if the US had the ability, which it doesn't, to simply ship the drug to Africa that the same critics who bash the USA now for seemingly not caring would be harping about the US using Africans in a big pharma experiment. I for one am sick of the hate toward the US. Develop your own drugs if you have a problem with ours

Yes, I have recognized there are too many hate toward the US. Hope others will develop their own drugs instead of blaming US..

Thanks. We are blamed for everything. If we do not do anything, then blamed, if we do something, then blamed. As American, I am very discouraged. Hope the others are willing to do their shares. I would like to hear what Japan wants to do with Ebola. Are they willing to help?

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As others have mentioned, US is not the only country with a pharmaceutical industry. Why hasn't __(country) developed a treatment or cure? Can you see how foolish a question that is? Private companies are not the only organizations that develop pharmaceuticals. It's stupid to denigrate any country or company for NOT developing something.

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Hope others will develop their own drugs instead of blaming US..

Other countries usually do not develop drugs for diseases such as Ebola because their governments prevent them from recouping the costs of developing them. Therefore, many lifesaving and life improving drugs never get made. But don't worry, the Left is doing all they can to kill the pharmaceutical industry in the US as well so in the future no one will be able to blame greedy corporations for developing expensive lifesaving drugs. More people will die in the long run but at least Obama and Hillary can say that no one got rich off the suffering of others. Yeah I know it makes no sense but in their view people should make their millions like they do - based on their government service.

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Having experimental quantities available does not equate to having enough to send to handle an outbreak. Read elsewhere that the charities involved in sending the two US med workers to Africa worked with the manufacturer to get the drug available to them. Obama probably had nothing to do with it.

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Cursed if you do, cursed if you don't.

If we have an experimental treatment and don't use it we're accused of neglecting the poor people of Africa.

If we give out an experimental treatment and it ends up killing, maiming, or crippling those we give it to due to unforseen side effects we're accused of experimenting on the poor people of Africa.

I'm glad it appears to be working on the two aid workers that it was administered on but until clinical tests determine that it's safe the treatment should remain in the lab.

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John GaltAug. 08, 2014 - 06:34AM JST

As others have mentioned, US is not the only country with a pharmaceutical industry. Why hasn't __(country) developed a treatment or cure? Can you see how foolish a question that is? Private companies are not the only organizations that develop pharmaceuticals. It's stupid to denigrate any country or company for NOT developing something.

I disagree, John.

The expensive medical research is being conducted in academic arena and is receiving a government financial fund (grants) that includes cancer treatments.

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More people will die in the long run but at least Obama and Hillary can say that no one got rich off the suffering of others.

Not just inane. Plumbing new depths. Chapeau!

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TheQuestionAug. 08, 2014 - 07:06AM JST Cursed if you do, cursed if you don't.

Nope, just cursed if you don't.

If we have an experimental treatment and don't use it we're accused of neglecting the poor people of Africa.

Ebola has fatality rates as high as 90%. Even if the experimental treatment is only 50% effective that takes the fatality rate from 90% down to 45%.

If we give out an experimental treatment and it ends up killing, maiming, or crippling those we give it to due to unforseen side effects we're accused of experimenting on the poor people of Africa.

U.S. pharmaceuticals companies ALREADY experiment on poor people in Africa. See norvapine, which was tested on HIV sufferers in Africa. In many cases it cut people's life expectancies in half, including little children.

Don't act like the U.S. is occupying the moral high ground here, they lost that ages ago.

I'm glad it appears to be working on the two aid workers that it was administered on but until clinical tests determine that it's safe the treatment should remain in the lab.

... and this is where the U.S. shows its hypocrisy. Is it unethical to use this drug or not? If it is unethical then it is unethical on anyone. If it is ethical then it is ethical for everyone. Having a U.S. passport does not change the ethics.

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@Frungy and who, pray tell, does occupy the moral high ground? I never made such a ridiculous claim.

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U.S. pharmaceuticals companies ALREADY experiment on poor people in Africa. See norvapine, which was tested on HIV sufferers in Africa. In many cases it cut people's life expectancies in half, including little children.

Thank's for making my case for me brother. Lovely example of why we shouldn't distribute the drug since fine people like yourself would just use it to justify their criticism of whatever measures the US takes. If they ended up dying you folks would be the first to call for the pharma CEO to go to the ICC for war crimes or some such nonsense.

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TheQuestionAug. 09, 2014 - 07:42AM JST

U.S. pharmaceuticals companies ALREADY experiment on poor people in Africa. See norvapine, which was tested on HIV sufferers in Africa. In many cases it cut people's life expectancies in half, including little children.

Thank's for making my case for me brother. Lovely example of why we shouldn't distribute the drug since fine people like yourself would just use it to justify their criticism of whatever measures the US takes. If they ended up dying you folks would be the first to call for the pharma CEO to go to the ICC for war crimes or some such nonsense.

You don't have a point norvapine was used to replace an already tested and effective HIV medication. There was no need for it, it was simply being done to bypass the stricter regulations for medication testing in the U.S. so companies could make money faster.

With Ebola there is no alternative in use and any medication would be better than nothing. The U.S. is holding back because there is no profit in using it now.

scipantheistAug. 09, 2014 - 12:57AM JST @Frungy and who, pray tell, does occupy the moral high ground? I never made such a ridiculous claim.

You were trying to phrase the debate in terms of ethics and morality, implying that the U.S. was refraining from action for moral or ethical reasons. As I pointed out, the use of the medication on U.S. citizens renders this argument invalid, if it is ethical to use it on U.S. citizens it should be ethical to at least OFFER it to African citizens.

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if it is ethical to use it on U.S. citizens it should be ethical to at least OFFER it to African citizens

Too many unknown. This has been only tested to Apes. Well, Japan came up with Ebola drugs that have only tested to Apes. Why don't they send them to Africa? To my understanding, Japan is not willing to send them..

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