News

Obama administration setting up group on experimental Ebola drugs

Obama administration setting up group on experimental Ebola drugs

OUTBREAK: In this photo provided by the Spanish Defense Ministry, aid workers and doctors transfer Miguel Pajares, a Spanish priest who was infected with the Ebola virus while working in Liberia, from a plane to an ambulance as he leaves the Torrejon de Ardoz military airbase, near Madrid, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 7. Pajares was in stable condition at a Madrid hospital on Thursday after being evacuated from Liberia, health officials said. Photo: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is forming a special Ebola working group to consider setting policy for the potential use of experimental drugs to help the hundreds infected by the deadly disease in Africa, an official said on Thursday.

The group will include scientists and other officials from such government health agencies as the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Fauci said in an interview he was unsure when the group would first meet or who would be represented, but added: “I’m sure they’ll tap people from NIAID with competence in clinical trials.”

The group was being formed under Dr. Nicole Lurie, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the Department of Health and Human Services, an administration official said.

Expertise in clinical trials, in which patients receive an experimental drug under scientifically rigorous conditions, is crucial, Fauci said.

“You need to balance compassion with the need to figure out if something actually works,” he said, referring to the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp, from Mapp Biopharmaceutical, which was given to two American aid workers before they were airlifted from Liberia to Emory University Hospital.

(Reporting by David Morgan and Sharon Begley; editing by Michele Gershberg and G Crosse)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

rainman

A look back on some of Hollywood's most memorable headlines.

in Music

Taylor Swift, Joe Walsh surprise fans at Kenny Chesney concert

Kenny Chesney performs on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Friday, Aug. 9, 2013 in New York.

Taylor Swift and Joe Walsh surprised the crowd at a Kenny Chesney concert by appearing onstage for impromptu duets.

in Music

This week’s top country tracks

aldean

LISTEN: This week's top country tracks, according to the latest Billboard chart.

in Entertainment

Angelina Jolie crowned world’s top feminist icon

Angelina Jolie arrives at the 20th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards at the Hollywood Palladium on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Los Angeles.

Angelina Jolie and Emma Watson top the list of the world's foremost feminist icons.

in Entertainment, National

Celebrities protest new Indiana law

George Takei poses for a portrait at Quaker Good Energy Lodge with GenArt and the Collective , during the Sundance Film Festival, on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 in Park City, Utah.

Celebrities call for an Indiana boycott after the passing of a controversial law that could lead to discrimination against gay couples.