Candice Miller for Congress, Michigan

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Miller calls on FDA to allow experimental drugs to treat Ebola

by Candice Miller on October 17, 2014

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http://riponadvance.com/news/miller-calls-fda-allow-experimental-drugs-treat-ebola/9323

Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) said on Wednesday that the FDA should allow Ebola patients in the United States to access experimental treatments like the drug ZMapp to fight the virus.

Greater access to experimental drugs like ZMapp could help stem the tide of the Ebola epidemic, Miller said.

“Currently, there are only experimental treatments for Ebola in the earliest stages of development,” Miller said. “ZMapp, for instance, is an experimental treatment for individuals infected with this virus. It has not yet been fully tested in humans for safety or effectiveness. Despite this, the two U.S. patients who contracted Ebola in Africa — Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol — were treated with ZMapp and both have survived.”

The first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, meanwhile, was not given ZMapp and did not survive, Miller said.

“There are currently no FDA approved vaccines for Ebola,” Miller said. “There are also no FDA approved treatments for Ebola. When a drug is not approved, Congress has granted to the FDA authority to allow access to potentially promising products for life-saving measures for patients facing fatal diseases such as Ebola. I urge the FDA to use this authority to allow patients diagnosed with Ebola in the United States to be granted access to ZMapp and other potentially helpful drugs that may be developed while this epidemic continues to spread.”

Miller said there is risk in taking drugs that have not gone through complete FDA clinical trials, but the decision to assume that risk should be left to the patients who are facing death and to the doctors who are treating them.

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