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WHO Panel Says It Is Ethical To Use Experimental Ebola Drugs

News outlets report on a statement from the WHO that a panel has reached consensus that it is ethical to offer experimental treatment as prevention for Ebola.

Associated Press: U.N.: It’s ethical to try untested Ebola medicines
“The World Health Organization declared Tuesday that it’s ethical to use unproven Ebola drugs and vaccines in the outbreak in West Africa provided the right conditions are met…” (Cheng, 8/12).

Financial Times: WHO says experimental drugs can be used to treat Ebola virus
“Experimental and untested drugs can be used to help combat the spread of Ebola in West Africa, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, as the official death toll from the worst ever outbreak of the virus topped 1,000…” (Cookson, 8/12).

New York Times: World Health Body Endorses Use of Experimental Drugs Against Ebola Virus
“The World Health Organization on Tuesday endorsed the use of untested drugs to combat the Ebola virus, just hours after a Spanish priest who had been supplied with experimental medication became the first European to die of a disease that has claimed more than 1,000 lives in West Africa and which ranks as the worst known outbreak…” (Cumming-Bruce/Cowell, 8/12).

Reuters: WHO backs use of experimental Ebola drugs in West Africa outbreak
“It is ethical to offer unproven drugs or vaccines to people infected or at risk in West Africa’s deadly Ebola outbreak, a World Health Organization panel of medical ethics experts ruled on Tuesday, but cautioned supplies will be limited…” (Kelland/Nebehay, 8/12).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.