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News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Articles criticising nevirapine trial may endanger babies' lives

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 06 January 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:61
  1. DC Bob Roehr
  1. Washington

Three articles published by the Associated Press in mid-December criticising the conduct of a trial of the antiretroviral drug nevirapine in Uganda are threatening to undermine its use in newborn babies in developing countries, according to South African experts. A single dose of the drug given to mothers while in labour and to their babies at the time of birth is known to greatly reduce transmission of HIV from mother to child.

The articles, which appeared in newspapers and were broadcast on radio stations in the United States, Britain, South Africa, and many other countries, made allegations about a trial that was conducted from 1997 to 1999 in Uganda by researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, and subsequently published.

The writer of the articles alleged that leaked documents showed that record keeping in the trial was shoddy, that single use of the drug led to resistance to it in patients …

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