India: patients used as guinea pigs?
The newspaper goes on to reflect views in the country that global drugs manufacturers have used India as a guinea pig testing ground for experimental trials that arguably wouldn’t be allowed in more developed jurisdictions.
According to the FT, the parliamentary report found that the regulatory body colluded with global manufacturers such as GlaxoSmithKine and Pfizer over the testing process. It quotes the report as saying: ‘There is sufficient evidence on record to conclude there is [a] nexus between drug manufacturers, some functionaries of CDSCO and some medical experts.’
But the manufacturers have challenged the findings. Pfizer issued a statement saying: ‘We abide by stringent ethical, scientific and medical standards in addition to local laws and regulations of the country when we launch our products.’
Elsewhere in India, the Financial Times also reports on a last-ditch bid by Vodafone to convince ministers to row back on plans to amend the country’s laws to recover some $2.6 billion in tax.
Vittorio Colao, the UK telecommunication company’s Italian chief executive, is reported to have travelled to New Delhi to make a personal appeal to India’s finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee. According to the report, Mr Colao’s pleas were rejected.