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FDA Fast-Track’s Half-Billion-Dollar Smallpox Vaccine

December 26, 2011, by Ken Jorgustin

government-buys-smallpox-vaccine
(image: SIGA)

A ‘Siga Technology‘ drug, named ST-246, which reportedly works by blocking the ability of the smallpox viruses to spread to other cells, has been granted “fast-track” status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

1.7 million doses, at the cost of $255 per dose, will add to the U.S. Government’s $1 Billion stash of smallpox vaccine.

Smallpox reportedly is no longer found in the natural environment, but The U.S. government is claiming the need to stockpile the drug in order to strengthen U.S. preparedness should the virus be used as a biological weapon in a terrorist attack.

USA TODAY reports,

Though natural transmission has ceased, the virus lives in freezers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and possibly in Russia, where Soviet scientists are believed to have created tons of weaponized smallpox. The breakup of the Soviet Union and the rise of global terrorism led the USA a decade ago to begin stockpiling vaccine.

For thousands of years, smallpox was one of the world’s most prolific killers. In the last century of its existence, smallpox is estimated to have killed at least half a billion people. All the wars on the planet during that time killed perhaps 150 million.

Mercola.com, a natural health website, asks the question “Why is the U.S. Doubling Its Protection Against this Non-existent Health Enemy?”

Unfortunately, there are serious, and sometimes fatal consequences of bringing drugs to market without adequate safety testing — and it is unclear why there is an urgent need for this drug that would warrant “fast-track” approval.

What’s more, Siga’s ST-246 only has a “guaranteed effective” shelf life of 38 months, which means if it’s not used in just over three years, it will be worthless.

 

Given the current U.S. deficit, you can’t help but wonder why the government just spent half a billion dollars on this. Do they know something that we don’t know? Or is this more political favors handed out to big-pharma at the expense of the taxpayer once again… ?

 

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