Feds Ready To Stockpile
Radiation Drug, Potassium Iodide
With Carl Limbacher and

The federal government "is moving toward buying millions of doses of a drug that protects against thyroid cancer that might result from radiation exposure," the New York Times reported today.
Stockpiling the drug, potassium iodide, has been considered since the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. The topic became hot again after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, blamed for thousands of thyroid cancers.
As the Associated Press reported Wednesday, even experts who doubt terrorist leader Osama bin Laden has nuclear weapons say the West must assume he does and prepare accordingly.
Now the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has set aside $800,000, enough to buy millions of doses to offer to states, and is waiting for guidance from the Food and Drug Administration on dosages, the Times says.
Potassium iodide must be given before radiation exposure, or very soon after. Adverse reactions, though rare, are more common among people older than 40, according to the FDA.
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