Glaxo Wants to Make Smallpox, Anthrax Vaccines

WASHINTON, DC-Just days after Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson called out to pharmaceutical companies to make necessary vaccines in the wake of the Sept. 11 tragedies, British-owned GlaxoSmith Kline has announced they will accept the challenge. The pharmaceutical giant is asking federal authorities for permission to begin manufacturing both smallpox vaccines and anthrax treatments immediately.

Thompson called out to pharmaceutical companies last week, stating the US needs more than 300 million doses of the smallpox vaccine on hand in case a biological weapon was used. A GlaxoSmithKline representative said while the company does not currently have the equipment or supplies to manufacture the vaccine in question, they do have some of the best vaccine experts on staff and are responsible for making numerous other inoculations.

Glaxo officials are also testing Amoxil and Augmentin to see if these amoxicillin-based antibiotics could ease pressure off of Bayer-the manufacturer of Cipro. Cipro is currently the antibiotic of choice for more than 8,000 Americans on the eastern seaboard who are worried about possible anthrax exposure.

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are reporting there are actually seven other antibiotics that have shown to be effective in treating anthrax exposure.

A company representative said Glaxo would provide the antibiotics to treat anthrax exposure free of charge to the government.

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