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Why Is Government Stockpiling Radiation Sickness Medicine?

Government making largest single purchase of radiation treatment products
(Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images)

HHS, or the Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday it is boosting the stockpile of treatments for Acute Radiation Syndrome.

Project BioShield is a new plan that will increase the national stockpile of what are called leukocyte growth factors, which is a treatment for acute radiation syndrome.

In layman’s terms, it’s a serious illness that occurs (quoting HHS) “in people exposed to high doses of radiation.”

No drugs or products are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat this affliction, so HHS is increasing their stockpile. BioShield was first authorized in 2004, but the new Project Bioshield will shell out nearly $200 million to acquire more of the leukocyte products.

BioShield also has other branches that deal with chemical and biological terrorism and attacks and releases of deadly toxins into the public. After the Anthrax scares in the fall of 2001, BioShield was created to stockpile countermeasures in case of widespread incidents.

While some are saying this is merely a “booster” shot for the radiation program, others are asking why and noticing this is the largest single purchase of products to deal with radiation sickness made in the program. HHS did not say the purchase was because the radiation treatment stockpiles were lagging behind or were low, simply, they were making this large procurement.

It begs the obvious question, in light of events over the last few years, do the feds know something we don’t?

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