O'Neill Institute Papers
 

Title

Public Health Emergencies: What Counts?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

Vaccines and drugs to prevent and treat Ebola Virus Disease that have never been tested in humans, and in scarce supply raise profound ethical challenges. What if good evidence emerged demonstrating safety and efficacy of drugs? What would be an ethical method of allocating scarce beneficial resources? The apparent preference given to foreign aid workers over West Africans provoked a firestorm. In addition to discussing the ethical allocation of scarce drugs, this article also asks a more fundamental question: Why did it take nearly 40 years after the first Ebola outbreak in 1976 to launch clinical trials?