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Constant Gardeners
by lenin    Lenin's Tomb
Entered into the database on Monday, May 08th, 2006 @ 10:24:05 MST


Untitled Document

Hoeing any row, ploughing any furrow, seeding any bed - the pharmaceutical industry plants its money trees everywhere and anywhere.

A panel of Nigerian medical experts has concluded that Pfizer violated international law during a 1996 epidemic by testing an unapproved drug on children with brain infections.

That finding is detailed in a lengthy Nigerian Government report that has remained unreleased for five years, despite inquiries from the children's lawyers and from the media. The Washington Post recently obtained a copy of the confidential report, which is attracting congressional interest. It was provided by a source who asked to remain anonymous because of personal safety concerns.

The report concludes that Pfizer never obtained authorisation from the Nigerian Government to give the unproven drug to nearly 100 children and infants. Pfizer selected the patients at a field hospital in the city of Kano, where the children had been taken to be treated for an often deadly strain of meningitis. At the time, Medicins Sans Frontieres was dispensing approved antibiotics at the hospital.

Pfizer's experiment was "an illegal trial of an unregistered drug", the Nigerian panel concluded, and a "clear case of exploitation of the ignorant".

'Tis an unweeded garden/That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature/Possess it merely.