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Siga Technology's Multi-Million Dollar Smallpox Drug Deal

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Eradicated for almost 40 years, Smallpox is known to exist in locked freezers in a Russian scientific institute and the US government. In case it might be available as a bio-weapon, the US has $1 billion worth of vaccine that works within four days of exposure, at a cost of $3 a dose. Now the Obama Human Health and Services Department has granted a sole-source contract for a pill to give people exposed too late for the vaccine to work. Its cost is $255 per dose, but it can't be tested to see if it would be effective. The contracting firm is controlled by a billionaire contributor to the Democratic Party. That's according to a lengthy investigative report in the Los Angeles Times by David Willman.

Credits

Guest:
David Willman - Los Angeles Times

Host:
Warren Olney

Producers:
Frances Anderton, Karen Radziner, Caitlin Shamberg