The United States has purchased upwards of $300 million worth of drugs in an effort to be “better prepared” for potential nuclear emergencies, RadarOnline.com can confirm.
The startling announcement was made on Tuesday by the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response – an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that serves to prepare the country for future disasters and public health emergencies.
According to HHS, the department bought $290 million worth of Nplate – also known as romiplostim – as part of its “long-standing, ongoing efforts to be better prepared to save lives following radiological and nuclear emergencies.”
Nplate is reportedly a drug used to treat blood cell injuries caused by acute radiation syndrome in both children and adults.
The drug was only approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in January 2021 but is reportedly vital to treating acute radiation syndrome – also known as radiation sickness – which “occurs when a person’s entire body is exposed to a high dose of penetrating radiation.”
Victims of radiation sickness experience a range of symptoms — mainly that their blood cannot properly clot, which then leads to internal and uncontrollable bleeding, more often than not killing the victim.
By stimulating a victim’s body to increase its platelet count, Nplate reportedly reduces the internal bleeding taking place.
According to ASPR’s announcement on Tuesday, the $290 million worth of drugs was purchased from Amgen USA, a biotechnology company that is headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California.
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Amgen’s development of the drug was reportedly backed by the nation’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, as well as the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“Amgen will maintain this supply in vendor-managed inventory,” ASPR said regarding the nation’s newly acquired $290 million supply of Nplate.
“This approach decreases life-cycle management costs for taxpayers because doses that near expiration can be rotated into the commercial market for rapid use prior to expiry and new doses can be added to the government supply,” the agency added.
Although the HHS did not cite this as a reason for the purchase in their announcement, the news comes just days after a train connected to Moscow’s nuclear arm’s division was spotted moving through central Russia earlier this week.
The HHS’ announcement also comes as tensions with North Korea rise as the United States, alongside Japan and South Korea, continue to counter North Korea’s recent series of ballistic missile exercises.