Magazine article New Internationalist

Lax Law Could Kill Human Guinea Pigs

Magazine article New Internationalist

Lax Law Could Kill Human Guinea Pigs

Article excerpt

Providing patients to take part in new drug trials can be a lucrative business, with the cash incentive offered by Big Pharma a very tasty carrot for poorly paid doctors. Yet what's good for the doctor may not be good for the patient, as recent events in India can attest. Last year saw 40 doctors and 18 hospitals in the city of Indore investigated for malpractice in clinical trials. A reported 1,725 people have died in drug trials in India in the past four years.

So warning bells should be ringing loud and clear in neighbouring Sri Lanka, where a proposed Clinical Drug Act will be supervised not by the Ministry of Health, but by the Ministry of Finance - a clear indication, say critics, of where the government's priorities lie.

The Sri Lankan medical profession is up in arms, claiming that it has not been consulted properly, or even shown the details of the draft bill, which is due to be presented to parliament soon. …

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