News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Secret report surfaces showing that Pfizer was at fault in Nigerian drug tests

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7552.1233-a (Published 25 May 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1233
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. New York

    A secret Nigerian government report concluded that the drug manufacturer Pfizer undertook an “illegal trial of an unregistered drug” when the company enrolled nearly 100 Nigerian children with meningitis in a trial testing its antibiotic trovafloxacin (Trovan) against ceftriaxone during a 1996 meningitis epidemic.

    Families of the children, their attorneys, and the media have been seeking the results of the report for five years without success until the report was leaked last week to the Washington Post (7 May, sect A: 1) by a source who asked to remain anonymous because of “personal safety” concerns.

    The Washington Post article said that “aspects of the affair remain mysterious, such as why the report remains confidential.” The head of the investigative panel behind the report, Abdulsalami Nasidi, a virologist and senior Nigerian health official, told the Washington Post he did not know why the report was never released. The panel was set up in 2001 to determine whether the trial was conducted legally (BMJ 2001;322:194).

    A class action suit filed on …

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