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

The Unsafe Child: Less Outdoor Play is Causing More Harm than Good
2015-09-02 0:39
The third grade classroom that was visiting our nature center for the day consisted of mostly boys–rowdy, loud and rambunctious boys. As we started out into the woods, the children spoke loudly to each other in anticipation of what was to come. After playing a quick game and explaining the ground rules, it was time for free play. As soon ...
Rights group demand police need warrant to access data
2015-09-01 23:48
American citizens should be able to rest safe in the knowledge that no one has the right to pry into their digital records, where they have been and how long they stayed there. The Supreme Court has just received a brief from the Electronic Frontier Federation (EFF) stating that this should certainly be the case. However, in the case of Davis v. ...
Murder Rates Rising Sharply in Many U.S. Cities
2015-09-01 23:33
Cities across the nation are seeing a startling rise in murders after years of declines, and few places have witnessed a shift as precipitous as this city [Milwaukee]. With the summer not yet over, 104 people have been killed this year–after 86 homicides in all of 2014. More than 30 other cities have also reported increases in violence from a year ...
Bulgaria - Islamic State Terrorists Caught Crossing Into Europe Posing As Refugees
2015-09-01 23:47
Bulgarian authorities near the Gyueshevo border checkpoint detained the five men, aged between 20 and 24, late on Wednesday, Bulgarian broadcaster NOVA TV reported. The men were stopped by a border guard, who they attempted to bribe with a “wad of dollars.” However, they were searched and Islamic State propaganda, specific Jihadists prayers and decapitation videos were found on their phones. In ...
How This NY Mom Made the Case for Her Son’s Religious Vaccine Exemption
2015-09-01 22:27
An unidentified, Russian immigrant mother who practices the Russian Orthodox faith, has secured a religious vaccine exemption for her autistic son. New York has a bill on the table to eliminate religious exemption and to root out those who weren’t refusing vaccines on strictly devout, religious grounds. Yet, this woman’s plight goes back before talk of eliminating the exemption – two ...
More News »