Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Clinical Trials in India: ethical challenges?

The Washington Post and Associated Press on Monday featured an article about ethical challenges in clinical trials being conducted in India. The article reported, "Since India eased guidelines for conducting drug trials in 2005, the number of Indians participating has shot up to 150,000 from close to zero, as international drug companies take advantage of lower costs here. But questions about the consent process have fueled fears that many Indians are entering the trials without knowing the risks." An Indian journal editor quoted in the article said, ""India is emerging as a hub for drug trials, and Indian patients are like guinea pigs...The ethical review panels are bogus...The drug control authority approves almost all the trial applications without rigorous scrutiny. And poor, unsuspecting patients get duped, while doctors and hospitals earn money."

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