埃博拉伦理

伦敦——因为非洲大片地区史无前例地遭到埃博拉病毒的侵袭,很多人提出是否该允许未经测试的药物和疫苗投入使用。因为这种病能致死高达90%的感染者——死亡率甚至超过鼠疫——放松临床规范似乎没什么可以失去的。但这项建议诱发了复杂的伦理问题——而局势的紧迫性又不让人有太多时间考虑。

埃博拉出血热之所以没有行之有效的治疗方法或疫苗是因为传染性疾病大多非常狡猾。病毒的传播起源于动物种群,而动物体就像病原体发展变异的蓄水池。研究人员因此很难跟上传染病的变化速度。

但另一个原因是制药企业对生产疫苗越来越失去兴趣。事实上,今天生产疫苗的企业只有4家,而50年前有26家疫苗生产企业。这些企业知道生产疫苗的投资回报率较低,因为缓慢的制造过程(尽管新的加速方法让人们有了些许希望)造就了漫长的导入期。

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