The World Health Organization endorsed the use of untested experimental drugs for Ebola patients on Tuesday, hours after a Spanish priest died of the virus and the outbreak’s death toll in West Africa passed 1,000.
An ethics panel ruled that the drugs, which have not yet passed clinical trials but have shown early promise in combating the virus, could provide a “potent asset” in the battle to contain the epidemic, which it called the “most severe and most complex outbreak of Ebola virus disease in history.”
“In the particular circumstances of this outbreak, and provided certain conditions are met, the panel reached consensus that it is ethical to offer unproven interventions with as yet unknown efficacy and adverse effects, as potential treatment or prevention,” members of the panel said in a statement.
The experimental drug ZMapp has been administered to two American patients, who are receiving specialized care at Emory…
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