Thursday, May 31, 2007

RE: Pfizer facing criminal charges for murder

RE: Pfizer facing criminal charges for murder

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Pharmaceuticals KILL People & Animals!
Date: May 31, 2007 4:57 AM


Reposted from AHRP:

ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION (AHRP)
Promoting Openness, Full Disclosure, and Accountability
http://www.ahrp.org <;http://www.ahrp.org/> and http://ahrp.blogspot.com
<;http://ahrp.blogspot.com/>

FYI

Pfizer, the company that acknowledged criminal marketing of Neurontin
(2004), the company that paid millions of dollars in settlements for failing
to disclose the suicide risks of its antidepressant, Zoloft, now faces
criminal charges by the government of Nigeria for criminal testing of a
lethal antibiotic that is known to cause liver damage, Trovan (trovafloxan),
on children leading to untold deaths.

The Washington Post reports:
"The move represents a rare -- perhaps unprecedented -- instance in which
the developing world's anger at multinational drug companies has boiled over
into criminal charges. It also represents the latest in a string of
public-relations blows stemming from the decade-old clinical trial, in which
Pfizer says it acted ethically.

The government alleges that Pfizer researchers selected 200 children and
infants from crowds at a makeshift epidemic camp in Kano and gave about half
of the group an untested antibiotic called Trovan (trovafloxan). Researchers
gave the other children what the lawsuit describes as a dangerously low dose
of a comparison drug made by Hoffmann-La Roche. Nigerian officials say
Pfizer's actions resulted in the deaths of an unspecified number of children
and left others deaf, paralyzed, blind or brain-damaged."

The lawsuit further charges researchers with failure to obtain consent from
the children's families and with knowledge that Trovan was an experimental
drug with life-threatening side effects that was "unfit for human use."

A panel of experts convened by the Nigerian government examined Pfizer's
actions, but its final report was suppressed without explanation. The Post
obtained a copy last year, which revealed that the panel had concluded
Pfizer's actions violated Nigerian law, the international Declaration of
Helsinki and the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.

According to the suit, parents were banned from the ward where the drug
trial occurred, and the company left no medical records in Nigeria. The
criminal charges state: "Pfizer and its doctors agreed to do an illegal
act," and behaved "in a manner so rash and negligent as to endanger human
life."

"Compared to the reality of the drug industry, my book reads like a vacation
post card" John Le Carre, Author, The Constant Gardner.

Indeed, the prescription drug industry's corrupt practices once again pose a
danger to the world community.
Not since the Nazi Doctors Trial and the trial of 24 board members of the IG
Farben the giant chemical-pharmaceutical company (split into BASF, Bayer,
Hoechst->Aventis) who were tried and convicted at Nuremberg for crimes
against humanity (1946-1947), has a government filed a criminal case against
a pharmaceutical company and its contracted doctors.
See:
http://www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/PHARMACEUTICAL_BUSINESS/history_of_the_ph
armaceutical_industry.htm#experiments


Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
212-595-8974
veracare@ahrp.org

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/29/AR2007052902
107.html
Washington Post
Pfizer Faces Criminal Charges in Nigeria
By Joe Stephens
Wednesday, May 30, 2007; Page A10

Officials in Nigeria have brought criminal charges against pharmaceutical
giant Pfizer for the company's alleged role in the deaths of children who
received an unapproved drug during a meningitis epidemic.

Authorities in Kano, the country's largest state, filed eight charges this
month related to the 1996 clinical trial, including counts of criminal
conspiracy and voluntarily causing grievous harm. They also filed a civil
lawsuit seeking more than $2 billion in damages and restitution from Pfizer,
the world's largest drug company.

The move represents a rare -- perhaps unprecedented -- instance in which the
developing world's anger at multinational drug companies has boiled over
into criminal charges. It also represents the latest in a string of
public-relations blows stemming from the decade-old clinical trial, in which
Pfizer says it acted ethically.

The government alleges that Pfizer researchers selected 200 children and
infants from crowds at a makeshift epidemic camp in Kano and gave about half
of the group an untested antibiotic called Trovan. Researchers gave the
other children what the lawsuit describes as a dangerously low dose of a
comparison drug made by Hoffmann-La Roche. Nigerian officials say Pfizer's
actions resulted in the deaths of an unspecified number of children and left
others deaf, paralyzed, blind or brain-damaged.

The lawsuit says that the researchers did not obtain consent from the
children's families and that the researchers knew Trovan to be an
experimental drug with life-threatening side effects that was "unfit for
human use." Parents were banned from the ward where the drug trial occurred,
the suit says, and the company left no medical records in Nigeria.

Pfizer and its doctors "agreed to do an illegal act," the criminal charges
state, and behaved "in a manner so rash and negligent as to endanger human
life."

Internal Pfizer records obtained by The Washington Post show that five
children died after being treated with the experimental antibiotic, though
there is no indication in the documents that the drug was responsible for
the deaths. Six children died while taking the comparison drug.

Suspicion stirred by news of the drug trial has been so intense in Kano, the
lawsuit says, that parents last year refused to allow their children to be
immunized against polio, frustrating a program aimed at wiping out one of
the disease's last refuges.

In a statement, Pfizer said it thinks it did nothing wrong and emphasized
that children with meningitis have a high fatality rate.
"It is indeed regrettable that, more than a decade after the meningitis
epidemic in Kano, the Nigerian government has taken legal action against
Pfizer and others for an effort that provided significant benefit to some of
Nigeria's youngest citizens," the statement said.

"Pfizer continues to emphasize -- in the strongest terms -- that the 1996
Trovan clinical study was conducted with the full knowledge of the Nigerian
government and in a responsible and ethical way consistent with the
company's abiding commitment to patient safety. Any allegations in these
lawsuits to the contrary are simply untrue -- they weren't valid when they
were first raised years ago and they're not valid today."

The criminal charges also name Pfizer's Nigerian subsidiary and eight
current or former executives and researchers. The charges could result in
fines and prison sentences ranging from six months to seven years per count,
according to Aliyu Umar, who served as Kano attorney general until earlier
this month.

Umar said he filed the charges with the backing of federal and state
authorities. He said it took 11 years to bring the action because officials
only learned details in recent years, through a series of investigative
reports in The Post. Three months ago, Umar's office obtained a six-year-old
Nigerian government report that concluded Pfizer's actions violated
international law.

"We realize we are the Third World and we need assistance," Umar said. "But
we frown on people who think they can take advantage of us, especially if
it's for profit. That's why we decided we needed to take action against
Pfizer.

"Those people responsible should be punished, whether in Nigeria or in the
United States , for what they did to our people."

Pfizer's drug trial came to public attention in December 2000, when The Post
published the results of a year-long investigation into pharmaceutical
testing in the developing world. Nigerians met the news with street
demonstrations and demands for reform.

Nigeria's health minister appointed a panel of experts to look into Pfizer's
actions, but its final report was suppressed without explanation. Last year,
The Post obtained a copy, which revealed that the panel had concluded
Pfizer's actions violated Nigerian law, the international Declaration of
Helsinki
<;http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/Helsinki?tid=infor
mline> and the U.N. Convention on the Rights
<;http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/related-topics.html/United+Nations?tid
=informline> of the Child.

The panel said Pfizer administered an oral form of Trovan that apparently
had never been given to children with meningitis. It said there were no
records documenting that Pfizer told the children or their parents that they
were part of a drug trial. And it said an approval letter from a Nigerian
ethics committee, which Pfizer used to justify its actions, was a sham
concocted long after the trial ended.

"The families of the children who [Pfizer] used as laboratory guinea pigs
were led to believe and in fact understood that the Defendants were
providing their children with volunteer relief, clearly focused humanitarian
medical intervention and nothing more," the lawsuit says.

Parents were not told that alternative treatments were available, it adds.

The suit charges that parents were barred from Pfizer's ward and that the
company's own lab tests had shown Trovan's life-threatening side effects.
Researchers allegedly administered the comparison drug, Rocephin, in
dangerously low doses to make Trovan look more effective.

The lawsuit contends that Pfizer researchers left the area during the
epidemic, took all medical records and "obliterated any evidence" of the
trial. "Defendant's illegal conduct was deliberate and solely motivated by
financial considerations," it says.

Every surviving child suffered one or more disabilities, the lawsuit says,
adding that the state of Kano has incurred major costs caring for the
children and otherwise dealing with the drug trial 's repercussions.

In its statement, Pfizer said the drug was in late-stage development and had
been tested on 5,000 patients in a number of countries. "Pfizer's doctors
had solid scientific evidence that it would provide a safe and effective
treatment against the deadly disease," the statement said. The treatment
"indisputably helped save the lives of almost 200 children," the company
said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration never approved Trovan for use in
treating American children. After being cleared for adult use in 1997, the
drug quickly became one of the most prescribed antibiotics in the United
States. But Trovan was later associated with reports of liver damage and
deaths, leading the FDA to restrict its use in 1999. It remains available in
the United States, but European regulators have banned it.

Research editor Alice Crites contributed to this report.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Google

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker