Thirteen years ago, a group of U.S. public health officials
came up with a plan to address what they regarded as one of the medical
system’s crucial vulnerabilities: a shortage of ventilators.
Money was budgeted. A federal contract was signed. Work got
The ventilators were to cost less than $3,000 each. The
lower the price, the more machines the government would be able to buy.
And then things suddenly veered off course. Covidien, a multibillion-dollar
maker of medical devices, bought out Newport Medical Instruments, the small
California company that had been hired to design the new machines.
Covidien, a multi-billion-dollar company which already made
the higher-priced traditional ventilators as part of a large portfolio of
devices, initially asked the government for more money under the ventilator contract,
then asked to be let out of the obligation altogether.
The project ultimately produced zero ventilators.
Read the full story by Nicholas Kulish, Sarah Kliff and Jessica Silver-Greenberg at The New York Times
Please support the writers and publishers cited in the excerpts featured in Global Biodefense Headlines by clicking through to the original article, reading the information in its full context, and sharing their work.