Make investigational Ebola drugs available, say ethicists

Drugs in development can be used for the treatment of Ebola, an international panel of ethics experts has recommended to the World Health Organization.


Marie-Paule Kieny, assistant director general of the World Health Organization, told the media that compassionate use of experimental treatments provided an opportunity to “right a wrong” (Source: AP / Press Association Images)

Drugs in development can be used for the treatment or prevention of the Ebola virus, an international panel of ethics experts has recommended to the World Health Organization (WHO).

But the panel of scientists, researchers and ethicists have attached a number of caveats to their unanimous decision, including a commitment that patient consent should be sought and that there should be freedom of choice.

The panel also agreed there is a moral obligation to share all data in cases where experimental drugs are used and to move these drugs into clinical trials.

The 12-person panel was convened by the WHO and met on 11 August 2014 in Geneva to consider whether it is ethical to make experimental treatments available to people affected by the Ebola crisis, even though there have been no clinical trials to prove they are safe for human use.

Read full article