Ebola: Experts say use of experimental drugs justified

Ebola patients receiving treatment
Ebola patients receiving treatment

A panel of medical ethicists convened by World Health Organisation, WHO, said in Geneva on Tuesday that the use of experimental-stage Ebola drugs was justified.

The panel reached consensus that it was ethical to offer unproven interventions with as yet unknown efficacy and adverse effects, as potential treatment or prevention, in the particular circumstances of the outbreak.

The experts, however, noted that these interventions could only be provided if certain conditions were met.

They stressed that patients must be able to make a free and well-informed choice whether they want to receive non-licensed drugs. They advised that the data on treated patients must be collected and shared to learn more about the effectiveness and safety of the drugs.

The U.S. President, Barack Obama, recently said his government would not make available to African countries the experimental drug tested on two American doctors that contacted Ebola while in West Africa. The drug is believed to have helped the doctors recover.

Mr. Obama said the drug would not be released until certified fit for human use by experts.

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