News

Pfizer settles with victims of Nigerian drug trial

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d5268 (Published 16 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5268
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. 1New York

The drug company Pfizer has paid out $175 000 (£107 000; €120 000) to each of four families whose children died during a study of an experimental antibiotic in Kano, Nigeria. But the settlement has been strongly criticised by the families involved and by a leading ethicist in the United States, where Pfizer has its headquarters.

The study was conducted during a deadly outbreak of meningitis in 1996, when some 200 children were enrolled in the study. Half were given Pfizer’s experimental antibiotic, trovafloxacin (which it markets as Trovan), and half were given ceftriaxone. Five children died in the trovafloxacin arm and six in the ceftriaxone arm. Pfizer has not reported on the outcomes of 10 of the children.

The families …

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