Big Pharma Using India’s Poor as ’Lab Rats’ to Test Meds
2013-07-11 0:00

By Jacob Chamberlain | Common Dreams



Multinationals outsource testing, unbeknownst to Indian patients

Multinational pharmaceutical companies are treating patients in India like "lab rats," distributing untested drugs for research purposes without the patients’ informed consent, Agency France-Presse highlighted on Thursday in a report pulling from personal accounts.

The issue is ongoing and widespread and has been subject to a Supreme Court Case in India — which led Supreme Court judges R.M. Lodha and A.S. Dave to state, "There has to be some sense of responsibility. Human beings are treated like guinea pigs."

Pharmaceutical companies often go to India where the rules are less strict and the testing procedures subsequently far less costly.

"In Europe and the United States the laws are pretty strict. India, on the other hand, makes for a less restrictive destination for drug trials because the regulator lacks teeth," said health campaigner Amulya Nidhi, who works for the Swasthya Adhikaar Manch group, which is fighting on behalf of many of the pharmaceutical trial victims.

As a result, "many desperate and poor people in India are unwittingly taking part in clinical trials for drugs by Indian and multinational pharmaceutical companies that outsource the work to unregulated research organizations," AFP reports.

Such was the case with Niranjan Lal Pathak, the center of the AFP article, who was offered free treatment for a heart complaint at his local hospital. The medicine, unbeknownst to him, turned out to be an untested drug called Atopaxar, developed by Japan-based pharmaceutical company Eisai for anxiety disorders. Pathak was the victim of a drug trial without his informed consent.

His family says that Pathak is now suffering from extreme dementia—a side effect of the drug.

"He barely recognizes us. His life is finished and so are our hopes to see him healthy and happy again," a family member told AFP.

[...]

Read the full article at: commondreams.org



"Tens of thousands of Indians were poisoned when toxic gas leaked from a plant owned by a US corporation in 1984. Now they claim they are suffering even more after pharmaceutical companies used the opportunity to try dangerous experimental drugs on them."






Related Articles
How Big Pharma recycles old drugs—even bad ones
Big Pharma’s shame: emerging markets bribery
India Free Drugs Policy Blow To Big Pharma


Latest News from our Front Page

"Too many white people" in Pittsburgh says government official
2015-07-31 2:14
According to Abby Wilson, the deputy director of the Department of Health’s Bureau of Public Policy and Community Relations in Allegheny County, there are too many White people in Pittsburgh. She left Pittsburgh to work in South Africa and then study in the Netherlands, but now that she’s back, she wants to change it. “My two main gripes (about Pittsburgh) are: too ...
Judge blocks group from releasing more Planned Parenthood videos
2015-07-31 2:35
The pro-life group behind a series of undercover Planned Parenthood videos accused the bioservice firm StemExpress late Wednesday of trying to “cover up this illegal baby parts trade” after the company obtained a court order blocking the release of footage. The Los Angeles Superior Court issued a temporary injunction Tuesday stopping the Center for Medical Progress from releasing any video showing ...
US Fish & Wildlife Service Investigating Killing Of Cecil The Lion
2015-07-31 2:18
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the agency is investigating the killing of Cecil the Lion, saying it will “go where facts lead.” The agency made the announcement via Twitter Thursday. Also Thursday, the Eden Prairie Police Department said that, while they will be stepping up neighborhood monitoring, they will not be providing personal protection for the dentist who killed ...
Dispute over bounced check caused brutal Hollywood shotgun killing: Cops
2015-07-31 2:40
Carrie Melvin, an aspiring Hollywood production assistant, was strolling with her boyfriend not far from Sunset Boulevard on the evening of July 5 when someone murdered her with a shotgun. Police have now arrested a suspect, Ezeoma Obioha, 31, and say his motivation was likely a dispute over a bounced check worth just a few hundred dollars. A Los Angeles ...
California Drought Could Wipe Cities Off Map If Their Water Runs Out
2015-07-31 2:28
The epicenter of California’s drought crisis is in the Central Valley, where there are growing fears the drought could wipe entire towns off of the map. Wells are going dry, jobs are harder to come by and families are already moving, either to different states or even Mexico in search of work. Before visiting Tulare County, a place where wells have gone ...
More News »