The U.S. government is stocking up on a popular treatment for radiation sickness in a $290 million deal announced this week, but officials say it doesn't have anything to do with Vladimir Putin's threat to use nuclear weapons in his war on Ukraine.
The Daily Mail said the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the purchase of romiplostim actually was "part of ongoing work."
The product is sold under the brand name Nplate and it reduces bleeding caused by acute radiation syndrome, the report explained.
The move does come only weeks after Putin issued a threat – essentially to the world – that he was prepared to use nuclear weapons to keep the Ukrainian territory his army had invaded, and sham elections had confirmed were ready for annexation to Russia.
"The timing will likely raise questions given that this is the first time the U.S. Government has bought Nplate," the report explained. The run normally costs up to $2,500 per dose.
Exposure to radiation includes symptoms of nausea, vomiting, headache, and diarrhea, then progresses to loss of appetite, fever, fatigue, seizures, and coma.
The symptoms sometimes can come and go and can last for months, eventually sometimes resulting in a diagnosis of cancer.
The most recent toll from radiation sickness came after the Chornobyl disaster in 1986 when 134 plant staff members and rescuers suffered symptoms. Twenty-eight eventually died from the radiation.
Nplate is made by pharmaceutical giant Amgen and reduces bleeding by stimulating the body’s production of platelets.
HHS reported the purchase was part of an effort to be "prepared to save life following radiological and nuclear emergencies," but said it was not a reaction to Putin's aggression.
The nation also holds a supply of Luekine, which also treats radiation sickness.
Putin had said, last month, "If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will use all available means to protect Russia and our people - this is not a bluff... I shall stress - by all means available to us. Those trying to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the tables can turn on them."
The Telegraph added that Nplate is approved for use in Europe and the U.K. to treat low blood platelet counts.