For the Global Thinker

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pfizer Outsources Human Medical Testing to India, Nigeria

In the last decade, there has been a surge in human medical testing done overseas in impoverished countries like Nigeria, India, Romania and Tunisia.  Is oversight even possible?

Excerpt from Vanity Fair article "Deadly Medicine"

"from the point of view of the drug companies, it’s easy to see why moving clinical trials overseas is so appealing. 

For one thing, it’s cheaper to run trials in places where the local population survives on only a few dollars a day. It’s also easier to recruit patients, who often believe they are being treated for a disease rather than, as may be the case, just getting a placebo as part of an experiment. 

And it’s easier to find what the industry calls “drug-naïve” patients: people who are not being treated for any disease and are not currently taking any drugs, and indeed may never have taken any—the sort of people who will almost certainly yield better test results. (For some subjects overseas, participation in a clinical trial may be their first significant exposure to a doctor.) 

Regulations in many foreign countries are also less stringent, if there are any regulations at all. The risk of litigation is negligible, in some places nonexistent. Ethical concerns are a figure of speech. Finally—a significant plus for the drug companies—the F.D.A. does so little monitoring that the companies can pretty much do and say what they want.


Outsourced: Clinical Trials Overseas

20 min documentary on one of the largest "human testing grounds" India...

Pfizer Compensates Nigerian Medical Trial Victims...


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