$75m settlement from pfizer over illegal drug trials
from ecochildsplay: Drug company giant Pfizer has agreed to settle out of court - to the tune of $75 million - in the case of its unlicensed medical trials on Nigerian children during a meningitis outbreak in 1996, which led to 11 deaths and serious injuries such as organ failure and brain damage in others. The Nigerian Health Ministry called the experiment “an illegal trial of an unregistered drug” and a “clear case of exploitation of the ignorant.” Pfizer tested their experimental antibiotic Trovan on children without the consent of their parents in the midst of an outbreak that ultimately killed 11,000, claiming it was a “humanitarian mission.” The drug company stated that the trial was conducted ethically and with the permission of the Nigerian government, but both claims have been disputed. If Pfizer is going to cough up $75 million for a settlement, one wonders what would have come out in court. The drug was never approved for U.S. children, but the FDA gave the green light to its use in adults in 1998. Trovan was banned in the European Union in 1999, and the U.S. FDA restricted its use severely after liver failures were reported in adults. “The Constant Gardener” by John Le Carre was reportedly inspired by the events of 1996, but set in Kenya instead of Nigeria.
health workers on trial for vaccine scam in poland
from afp: Nine health workers went on trial in northern Poland Monday accused of having tested a vaccine against bird flu on nearly 200 patients without their knowledge, court officials said. The accused - three doctors and six nurses - are charged with "fraud, creating false documents and delivering health care without authorisation" to 196 patients, judge Piotr Szadkowski of the Torun region told AFP. If found guilty, they risk up to 10 years in jail. All nine accused, some reportedly clad in wigs and sun glasses to avoid being identified, pleaded not guilty. The medical personnel are charged with administering a vaccine banned in Poland against the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu that can be transmitted to humans. The patients were paid for the vaccines, Polish news agency PAP reported. They allegedly led their patients, many of them poor and homeless, to believe they were being vaccinated against ordinary flu. Police discovered the scam by chance when they were called to break up a fight at a homeless shelter, PAP said.