From the article:
The sudden influx of drug companies to India resembles the gold rush frontier, according to Sean Philpott, managing editor of The American Journal of Bioethics.
‘Not only are research costs low, but there is a skilled work force to conduct the trials,’ he said. In the rush to reap profits, Philpott cautions that drug companies may not be sensitive to how poverty can undermine the spirit of informed consent. ‘Individuals who participate in Indian clinical trials usually won’t be educated. Offering $100 may be undue enticement; they may not even realize that they are being coerced,’ he said.
By 2010, total spending on outsourcing clinical trials to India could top $2 billion, according to Ashish Singh, vice president of Bain & Co., a consulting firm that reports on the health-care industry.
Regardless of where clinical trials are performed, the FDA requires the same evidence showing that a drug is safe and effective before it will approve any drug, according to a written comment from Ken Johnson, senior vice president of The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Foundation.
So is this legal, or ethical?
You can look at it from various perspectives..
Are the big companies exploiting the poor by moving to a country with a weaker economy and offering less incentive for testing?
Do these uneducated people really comprehend the risks they are taking during clinical trials?
I know in Europe it’s quite common for students to do drug testing and it pays a lot, according to the risk and duration. I never considered it though, I mean just because it works as intended on a rat, who knows what it’s going to do to me.
Nevertheless, even before the anti-generic rules were enacted, companies performing clinical trials in India saw their share of problems. In 2004, two India-based pharmaceutical companies, Shantha Biotech in Hyderabad and Biocon in Bangalore, came under scrutiny for conducting illegal clinical trials that led to eight deaths.
I would imagine the insurance costs for such trials in Europe are MUCH higher aswell, perhaps they don’t even bother insuring the atendees in India as their lives are worth less?
“Third World lives are worth much less than the European lives. That is what colonialism was all about,” said Srirupa Prasad, a visiting assistant professor of medical history and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
This seems to be a fact.
Or are they just saving costs to develop better, safer and cheaper pharmaceuticals for the rest of the world?
Would you conduct in a clinical trial?
Is $100USD fair for you?
Source of quotes: Wired.comDiscussion on Slashdot
I thought this one was pretty funny.
So first they took away our call centers… Then they took away our IT jobs… Now they’re taking our priviledge to test dangerous drugs on the poor and destitute?
Damn you trained and abled Indian workforce!
It is a serious matter however..thoughts?