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[afro-nets] New Wemos publication on unethical clinical drug trials: A Bitter Pill
- From: "Claudio Schuftan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2008 09:33:30 -0800
'The West has such a voracious appetite for new and improved drugs that it sometimes seems justified to make these available at any cost,' says Dr. Heleen Dupuis, Professor of Medical Ethics and member of the Dutch Upper Chamber of the States General in A Bitter Pill, the new Wemos publication on clinical drug trials in developing countries.
In A Bitter Pill, Wemos describes the risks involved when carrying out clinical drug trials on the inhabitants of developing countries, and puts forward concrete proposals for the improved protection of these vulnerable test subjects. Core of Wemos's plea is the call for 'fair' medicines, drugs which have been ethically tested. Unethically tested medicines should not be admitted to the European market, according to Wemos.
In the booklet, experts give their opinion. Among them is Dr. Amar Jesani, coordinator of the Indian Centre for Studies in Ethics and Rights: 'Many doctors in India involved in clinical trials are given enormous sums of money in return for recruiting patients. This leads to a conflict of interests, of which the patients are the victims. When they find they need medical attention, the financial obstacles they encounter tempt them to close their eyes to the possible risks of clinical trials.' Also discussed is the Pfizer-trial, during which Nigerian children received the experimental antibiotic Trovan.
In February, a coalition of five organizations including Wemos, the Centre for Research on Multinational Cooperations (SOMO), Foundation Farmacie Mondiaal, Health Action International (HAI) Europe and the European Medical Students' Association (EMSA) presented A Bitter Pill, along with a new report by SOMO called Ethics for Drug Testing, to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). The coalition called on the politicians to put a stop to 'unfair' drugs. Following the presentation, thirteen MEPs signed questions to the European Commission. The answers are expected early April.
Copies of A Bitter Pill can be downloaded and ordered from http://www.wemos.nl (a postage contribution is appreciated). For more information, please go to http://www.wemos.nl/en-GB/Content.aspx?type=Projecten&id=2815