[Five Deadly Everythings]

In which Wax gets bitten by a snake and we learn we’ve run out of antivenom

Posted in 8 million ways, beware of (blank), hip-hop, this is why you're dying by Jef on July 12, 2010

Leave it to Wax to record something this innovative when tagged in a Youtube rap cypher. Just sit in a chair and rap a written to his webcam? Heck no:

In related news (check out this segue, mom), Popular Mechanics reports on how the coral snake’s relatively inefficient method of poisoning its victims and calmer demeanor (than, say, pit vipers like the rattlesnake that bit Wax), has led to low profits for the sale of its antivenom. Subsequently, the antivenom’s manufacturers, like good capitalists, have gotten the hell out of the racket:

Unfortunately, after Oct. 31 of this year, there may be no commercially available antivenom (antivenin) left. That’s the expiration date on existing vials of Micrurus fulvius, the only antivenom approved by the Food and Drug Administration for coral snake bites. Produced by Wyeth, now owned by Pfizer, the antivenom was approved for sale in 1967, in a time of less stringent regulation.

Wyeth kept up production of coral snake antivenom for almost 40 years. But given the rarity of coral snake bites, it was hardly a profit center, and the company shut down the factory that made the antivenom in 2003. Wyeth worked with the FDA to produce a five-year supply of the medicine to provide a stopgap while other options were pursued. After that period, the FDA extended the expiration date on existing stock from 2008 to 2009, and then again from 2009 to 2010. But as of press time, no new manufacturer has stepped forward.

That’s right, no more antivenom, and even if you’ve got some, chances are it’s expired. Stay away from corals, kids.


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