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Polyspecific snake antivenom may help in antivenom crisis

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 22 February 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:447
  1. G D Laing, research fellow,
  2. R A Harrison, research fellow,
  3. R D G Theakston, professor of medical biology (,
  4. J M Renjifo, coordinator,
  5. A Nasidi, director, special projects,
  6. J M Gutierrez, professor, research division,
  7. D A Warrell, professor of tropical medicine
  1. Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool L3 5QA
  2. Grupo Antivenenos, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Bogota, Colombia
  3. Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, Nigeria
  4. Instituto Clodomiro Picado, University of Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica
  5. Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford OX3 9DU

    EDITOR—In Africa snakebites cause thousands of deaths annually and much permanent physical disability, but the supply of antivenom, the only specific treatment, is threatened by commercial pressures and privatisation. This has been caused over the past few years by the cessation of antivenom manufacture by Behringwerke in Germany, greatly reduced production by Aventis Pasteur in France, and the threat to continued production by Africa's sole remaining producer, the African Health Laboratory …

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