Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The ethics of clinical trial outsourcing

Great article in wired talking about big pharmas using poor indians as guinea pigs. Those that have seen the movie "Constant Gardener" know what i'm talking about here. It's so expensive to test drugs in the west and poeple don't like signing up to clinical trial, and so places like india are very attractive. The people are treatment naive, and they don't really have a choice, since they could not afford the standard treatment anyways, and are very trusting of doctors. The governement looks away because there is cash to be made. It's a free for all. Yet the (honest) doctors there are starting to feel uneasy about what goes on "The biggest problems around here are snakebite and insecticide poisoning [...] we could really use a trial for one of those.". I also want to point out this great site about science in developing countries.