Ebola Vaccine Would Likely Have Been Found By Now If Not For Budget Cuts

Nice article quoting NIH director Francis Collins and outlining the dangers of vast budget cuts (by a Republican congress) and how that might have contributed to our poor preparedness for the current worldwide Ebola outbreak.  Having reviewed this topic and given a public talk on Ebola just one month ago, I fully agree.

It should be easy to develop a vaccine against Ebola and there are good projects under way.  But Ebola was never considered a threat to us in America (just a lingering threat for some poor African nations).  No companies want to bring a vaccine or a drug to market, when they don’t forecast profit.  It’s the story of orphan drugs and now orphan vaccines!  The story is compelling because it illustrates that the interests of private companies are not always aligned with the interests of the public.

For the most recent on Ebola, try this source.

NIH budget over the years

NIH budget over the years

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About D. Posnett MD

Emeritus Prof. of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College
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4 Responses to Ebola Vaccine Would Likely Have Been Found By Now If Not For Budget Cuts

  1. Greed in politics or greed in medicine….greed has become the most pervasive human quality of this generation it seems. The wealthiest 400 American’s are worth a combined $2.29 trillion (up $270 billion from last year) – a 13 percent increase. These billionaires now own more wealth than the bottom half of America – over 150 million hard working people. To deny people medical help simply because it may not be profitable is another low point. While there is currently no legal obligation for medical students to swear an oath upon graduating, 98% of American medical students swear some form of oath. Perhaps some of these pharmaceutical company CEO’s who are medical Doctors, should be reminded of when they swore to uphold the Hippocratic Oath….and those who hold the life and death of innocents in their hands and profit from it should be held to just as high a standard. The Hippocratic Oath is a self imposed standard and while there are no direct laws, doctors can still be held accountable through malpractice and other civil and criminal charges.But how are they held accountable when it comes to greed and personal gain?

  2. Mike Anthony says:

    budget cuts impacting a lot of services…the veterans admin problems that got so much media play got impacted by budget cuts. The famous Benghazi episode that the Republicans fear monger about was impacted by cuts to the foreign service.

    Have no fear, though, the military industrial complex is not suffering.

  3. OK. Here is a rational article which argues that you cant just blame only Republicans… All I know from first hand experience is that Medical Science is woefully underfunded compared to 20-30 years ago. I have seen numerous young very smart scientists just give up and change careers for lack of funding.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/10/15/the-absurd-claim-that-only-republicans-are-to-blame-for-cuts-to-ebola-research/

  4. Pingback: Fake News | Resist and Replace

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