The US government has purchased a significant supply of radiation-injury drugs as the Russian president threatened the use of nuclear weapons.
A $290 million procurement of the drug Nplate, to treat acute radiation syndrome (ARS), was announced by the US Health and Human Services (HSS).
The government confirmed it was the first purchase of the drug, manufactured by the California pharmaceutical company Amgen.
The purchase comes after Vladimir Putin renewed his threat of nuclear war. In a speech last month he vowed to use “all the means at our disposal” to protect Russia and its people. “This is not a bluff,” he said.
The US government said the procurement of Nplate was not in response to the war in Ukraine.
An HSS spokesman told The Telegraph: “This is part of our ongoing work for preparedness and radiological security. It has not been accelerated by the situation in Ukraine.”
It is understood the HSS has been working with Amgen, and similar companies, for some years.
The US has maintained a stockpile of Leukine, a drug which also treats ARS, since 2013.