VIPER coordinates a statewide study network of affiliated hospitals and professionals in Arizona.
If you have an after-hours emergency and need to speak with a study doctor or nurse, please contact us by calling our research emergency phone at (520) 307-0498.
It began because of an antivenom shortage and a shared need.
Starting in the year 1999, when in-state production of antivenom stopped, it became clear that the State of Arizona needed a better way to handle scorpion venom emergencies. The only antivenom available after old supplies ran out was considered "investigational" by the US FDA, meaning that antivenom could only be used for research purposes until such time that a product might achieve the standards for US product licensure. Early studies of one investigational antivenom showed sufficient promise that VIPER doctors and Arizona Department of Health Services public health professionals agreed: we should enable hospitals anywhere in Arizona to participate in the study network, so that every person stung by a bark scorpion would have the option of receiving the investigational antivenom.
It has grown to become a unique state resource.
The result of this decision has been an amazing and unprecedented success: hundreds of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and administrators at 24 hospitals across Arizona have volunteered their time to an entirely unique project. With the help of these dedicated professionals, we are now able to enroll children and adults in antivenom studies, on an emergency basis day or night, providing antivenom to the patient while at the same time gathering information about the condition and its treatment that will benefit all of us in the future.
The network is open for new membership.
If you are a medical professional in Arizona and you would like to know more about participating in the statewide network, please call VIPER at (520) 626-1118, during regular business hours.