Bioshield Contract Awarded for
Pediatric Liquid Potassium Iodide
HHS) The Department of Health and Human Services awarded a $5.7
millioncontract to Fleming & Company, Pharmaceuticals of Fenton,
Mo. for themanufacture and delivery of 1.7 million pediatric doses
of liquid potassium
This supply of liquid KI, which is being purchased under theBioShield program, would be used in the event of a release of
radioactiveiodine, a commonly produced material in commercial nuclear power
The liquid KI formulation is the first to be developed specifically
forchildren. Its black raspberry taste is designed to make it more
palatable tochildren. Current adult dose tablets are bitter and must be broken
intopieces to get a child’s dose. The new formulation is delivered
using agraduated eyedropper.
acquisition of this new and easy-to-administer pediatric KI formulationis an important step forward for our nation’s radiological preparednessprogram," Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency
PreparednessStewart Simonson, said.
thyroid gland rapidly absorbs any iodine in the body, peopleneed to take KI soon after an incident that involves the release
ofradioactive iodine, such as could occur in the vicinity of a nuclearcommercial power facility. The KI saturates the thyroid gland
with iodine,thus preventing the thyroid from absorbing additional, radioactive
iodine.However, KI does not prevent the effects of any other radioactive
the liquid KI as a pediatric formulation was given last year bythe Interagency Weapons of Mass Destruction Medical CountermeasuresSubcommittee. Children are the most susceptible to the dangerous
effects ofradioactive iodine.
Once it is
delivered to HHS, the pediatric KI will be made available tostates that submit and receive approval from HHS for plans they
develop todistribute the new product in communities around commercial nuclear
The Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) has approved KI in tablet form as anonprescription drug for use as a "blocking agent" to
prevent the humanthyroid gland from absorbing radioactive iodine. On Jan. 12, 2005,
the FDAgranted approval to Fleming for their product ThyroShieldTM (PotassiumIodide Oral Solution, USP) 65 mg/ml for children.