25 September, 2020

Crash Test Dummies

An unscrupulous chain of doctors and pharma firms are making a 'killing' in a mockery of clinical trials

Jitender Gupta
Crash Test Dummies
  • March 2004: Eight people in Hyderabad die during clinical trials of recombinant streptokinase, a genetically engineered drug to dissolve blood clots in patients suffering from acute heart attacks. It's alleged that the pharmaceutical firm conducting the trials did not take permission from mandatory regulatory authorities.

  • January 2004: A study published in the reputed international journal Contraception establishes that nearly 800 women in West Bengal were administered the antibiotic erythromycin in clinical trials for pregnancy prevention. No legal permission was taken to conduct these trials.

  • December 2003: Anti-cancer drug letrozole becomes the centre of a controversy after it is found that over 400 women across the country were allegedly being used as 'guinea pigs' to illegally test the efficacy of the drug in infertility treatment.

Are the laws governing clinical trials in the country stringent enough? Who will put a stop to the spate of illegal and unethical drug trials? Any answer to these...


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