BERNAMA - Pharma Companies Alleged To Have Conducted Illegal Drug Test On Tribal Girls
INDORE, Jan 8 (Bernama) -- The Supreme Court on Monday said a public interest litigation has been filed by local activists alleging pharmaceutical companies had conducted unauthorised drug tests of their vaccine on tribal girls.
The Times of India reported the petition alleges that pharmaceutical companies, including Glaxo Smithkline and MSD Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd, tested gardasil and cervarix -- two unproven human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines purported to prevent cervical cancer -- on nearly 24,000 tribal girls in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat including 44 persons at Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital (MYH).
Of the 44 patients subjected to drug trials in the state, 10 were males, said the report.
The litigation filed by Kalpana Mehta of Indore, Nalini Bhanot and V Rukmini Rao on behalf of Gramya Resource Centre for Women claims that the testing had led to adverse effects on the girls' health and the pharmaceutical companies had ignored their further treatment.
Seven girls allegedly succumbed during the vaccine trial.
Admitting the case, Justice S Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra have directed the Union government to immediately file its reply on the issue.
The apex court has also directed that the Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu be asked to examine the medical record of the girls in question and submit a report to the court.
The order comes amid allegations by activists that multinational companies are influencing state governments to carry out clinical trials on humans that are often not transparent or regulated efficiently, the report said.