Congressman Andy Harris Raises Questions About Shortage of Sarin Gas Drug
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The main drug used to counteract sarin gas like what was used recently in Syria has manufacturing issues according to a Wall Street Journal story Sarin Antidote Is Hit With Supply Problems in U.S.published over the weekend. The drug in question, DuoDote, is used by the United States Armed Forces, emergency personnel, and placed by the Centers for Disease Control in the Strategic National Stockpile in the event that the gas is released in the United States. Meridian Medical Technologies, the manufacturer of the drug, sent a letter to wholesalers and health professionals on August 27, 2013 to notify them of problems with the drug’s manufacturing despite having learned of the issue in early Spring. Meridian has received millions of tax payer dollars for doses of this drug, some of which do not meet specifications.
On Thursday, September 12, Congressman Harris sent a letter to Meridian Medical Technologies. The letter (full text below) asks the following:
· How was the problem discovered?
· What caused DuoDote to be out of specification?
· What corrective actions has Meridian taken to ensure future doses are within specifications?
· What actions has Meridian taken to ensure that doses in the Strategic National Stockpile are effective?
· Will the government be charged for DuoDote that needs to be replaced?
“With the recent sarin gas use in Syria, the manufacturing issues surrounding DuoDote put our national security preparedness in question," said Congressman Harris. "I am going to continue asking questions of the company and government agencies so we can all have confidence in our national defenses. Recent actions in Syria show that chemical and biological defenses can no longer be on the back burner."