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Campaigners criticise India’s new system for compensating clinical trial deaths

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 29 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7806
  1. Priyanka Pulla
  1. 1Bangalore

The decision by a medical expert committee to award compensation for 21 of the 370 deaths that occurred since January 2013 in clinical trials conducted in India has reignited debate about the transparency of drug trials.

Even though this is the first systematic attempt by the Indian drug controller to compensate the families of people who have died during clinical trials, public health campaigners told The BMJ that the process of compensation was still neither fair nor transparent.

Because trial investigators may have links with drug firms, campaigners have said that the data provided by such investigators are not legitimate. Therefore, using these data as the basis for awarding compensations was problematic, they said.

Clinical trials by foreign firms have come under fire in India in the past few years. A 2013 parliamentary committee report found that the Seattle based health charity PATH had committed gross violations while carrying out trials …

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