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893 Turks die in major drug companies’ experiments

S ource: Hurriyet

Drug experimentations conducted by pharmaceutical giants have killed 893 Turks, the Independent reported.

Turkey is listed sixth of the countries that report the most deaths due to experimentations, with India taking the lead at over 1,700 victims who lost their lives during experiments run by American, British and European pharmaceutical companies.

The Independent’s investigation revealed plenty of gruesome details including experiments cancelled following abuses of illiterate or uninformed subjects in need of either money or treatment.

The total number of world deaths caused by pharmaceutical experimentation runs as high as 120,000. The issue is reportedly caused by tight regulations in countries like the United States and England, which push the pharmaceutical companies to direct their studies to countries that have looser ethical and technical regulations.

Pfizer, Bristol Myers, PPD, Squibb, Amgen, Bayer, Eli Lilly, Quintiles, Merck, KGaA, Sanofi-Aventis and Wyeth are some of the known companies to conduct such experiments overseas.

India’s Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said 10 companies had paid compensation of a comical 3,000 pounds each to the relatives of only of 22 victims in India. A girl of 13, Sarita, was also a known victim of such experimentations.

The Turkish Ministry of Health, however, claimed Turkey was one of the “most regulated” countries on issues of pharmaceutical experimentation, stating that each experiment was overseen by authorities on grounds of ethical concerns and paying subjects was a strictly forbidden procedure, Vatan reported.

Yet the head of the Clinical Pharmaceutics Foundation Dr. Cankat Tulunay disagreed with the Ministry of Health. Tulunay told Vatan that supervisions and investigations were lead by people with limited knowledge and competence, with some investigations remaining only on paper. Tulunay further warned that if things continued as they were, Turkey might lose citizens by the thousands to unregulated experimentations.

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