Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lok Satta demands effective monitoring of drug trials

The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Union Government empower States to monitor conduct of clinical trials by drug companies.

In a media statement, party Secretary P. Bhaskara Rao said that for want of effective monitoring, drug companies could get away by enlisting illiterate and ignorant people as guinea pigs for their experiments.

Clinical trials are no doubt important for advancing medicine he said and added that all precautions should be taken in conducting them since they some times led to the death or disability of people being subjected to them.

India has of late become the capital for clinical trials because of the genetic diversity of its people. In addition, India has a vast pool of illiterate, ignorant and poor people who volunteer themselves for the trials even for a pittance. There is no wonder that multinational drug companies view India as an ideal place for cutting down cost and time in their bid to perfect blockbuster drugs.

Mr. Bhaskara Rao recalled that more than 1500 people have died in clinical trials in the last two years and added that the drug companies accepted their responsibility in only 25 cases. They paid compensation to the next of kin of some of the victims only after the Indian Council of Medical Research took them to task.

Mr. Bhaskara Rao demanded a thorough inquiry into the adverse consequences of drug trials in Andhra Pradesh. No mercy should be shown to drug companies conducting trials in violations of laws, rules and regulations.

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