By Sonia Shah
An eye-opening examine large Pharma's unethical and exploitative drug trials within the international South.
"Medical learn imposes burdens. yet normally talking, we do not prefer to understand it….If the historical past of human experimentation tells us whatever, from the bloody vivisections of the 1st millennium to the Tuskegee Syphilis research, it truly is that such burdens made mystery will fall heaviest at the poorest and so much powerless between us."—from The physique Hunters
This groundbreaking ebook finds the unethical drug-testing practices of the multinational pharmaceutical undefined. In its quest to enhance profitable new medications for the world's wealthy, the has became clear of the well-being wishes of the world's negative. And but, over the last decade, giant Pharma has quietly exported its scientific study company to the worldwide South, the place moral oversight is minimum, and in poor health, negative, and determined sufferers are abundant.
In The physique Hunters, investigative journalist Sonia Shah exhibits how the pharmaceutical is utilizing checking out methods within the international South that may reason scandals within the built international. In India, dozens of sufferers in drug trials have perished anguish lethal unwanted side effects recognized to the FDA; in Zambia, AIDS infants in medical trials were administered placebos.
The physique Hunters is predicated on numerous years of unique examine and reporting from Africa and Asia, and describes dozens of trials, in addition to the checkered historical past of Western clinical technological know-how in bad international locations.
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Extra info for The Body Hunters: Testings New Drugs on the World's Poorest Patients
Indeed, it looked as if a bottle of red ink had been spilled over the map of Russia. The stain had spread over all of Eastern Europe too, but France, Italy, and Spain were nearly pristine, marred by a scant few speckles. National borders marked the difference between life and death, drawn in whispery black lines. The Eastern Europeans were ailing not only because their air was polluted, their food less abundant, and their water dirtier, Wurzlemann said. The amount of money the Polish government coughed up to provide health care to each of its citizens was about one-fourth the sum typical in Western Europe.
Enrolling sufficient numbers of sickened patients would require the help of thousands of physicians across the country, each of whom might pass months if not years before seeing a single case. Romark didn’t have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on developing the drug, unlike the big pharmaceutical companies. 21 And so Romark’s hunt for bodies began. It began in Romark’s home state of Florida and ended in a small, impoverished country in sub-Saharan Africa. When the British left Zambia in 1964, the country was “little more than a hole in the ground” where copper veins had been mined, a government official remembered.
And even when new products are indeed what are most needed, from new malaria drugs to cures for sleeping sickness, those that aid the poorest are generally of little interest to drug companies, which commit themselves to the financial needs of their investors. The more likely result will be a drug-marinated class of rich alongside a meds-famished poor. In that case, brand-name drug sales in poor countries will worsen inequality, not correct it. And as has been well documented, inequality itself worsens the health of the have-nots even more.