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US buys $290 million radiation drugs as Russia-Ukraine war continues

Wikimedia EU EMA: by INN US DailyMed: Romiplostim US FDA: Nplate

Although most people around the world are tired, worried and more with the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, there has been no visible signs of the two parties sitting on a negotiating table. In this dismal scenario, the US government has made its first purchase of a drug called Nplate that can be used for nuclear emergencies as it stops life-threatening bleeding.

US government officials have said that the reported $290 million worth of Nplate that was recently purchased was a “part of ongoing work.” They denied that the purchase had been accelerated due to rhetoric from the Kremlin.

On September 21, in a televised statement, Russian president Putin said that he would use “all means” to defend the “territorial integrity” of their country. He said that he would use “all available means” to defend Russia and Russians. Russia has a huge nuclear arsenal comparable to that of many Western and some Asian countries.

On Tuesday, the US Health and Human Services (HSS) announced that they had purchased romiplostim. This chemical is sold under the brand name Nplate and is used to reduce bleeding that is caused by acute radiation syndrome (ARS). The condition is commonly referred to as radiation sickness.

The timing of the purchase by the US agency has raised questions as this is the first time that the HSS has purchased this particular drug. The US has supplies of Leukine from 2013. It is also used to treat ARS. The US FDA also approves of two more drugs called Neupogen and Neulasta, which are also produced by Amgen, the Californian pharmaceutical company that manufactures Nplate.

The HHS released a statement which said that the purchase was “part of our ongoing work for preparedness and radiological security. It has not been accelerated by the situation in Ukraine.”

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