Pharmaceutical corporations, like Novo Nordisk, have been using underdeveloped countries as testing grounds for experimental drug trials. Doctors are beginning to speak out against this practice, citing that it has more to do with increasing profits and less to do with scientific research.
In countries like India and South Africa, where the citizens pay for their medicines, these drug trials are quite profitable for drug corporations.
While drug licensing authorities do not require post-marketing studies, major drug corporations regularly contend that they must conduct more experiments on the human population. Using third-world nations is the easiest way to do so considering that the general population in those countries does not have the ability to speak out and protest.
Edwin Gale, emeritus professor of diabetic medicine at Bristol University in the UK, published a paper that questions the practices and purposes of drug trials in underdeveloped nations.
Pharmaceutical corporations, conducting post-marketing trials for analogue insulin (which cost more than 4 times as much as conventional human insulin) so that new forms of insulin can be produced for sufferers of type 2 diabetes was studied by Gale.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) reviewed the data provided by Gale and found that there was no additional cost benefit for people.
Gale maintains that since 2005 more than 400,000 people worldwide have been coerced into participating in post-marketing trials involving analogue insulin. These trials, providing limited scientific value, were conducted on nations where their citizens were of low-income and of little value to the drug corporations.
Gale notes that the doctors who participated in the trials did so without overt malice but showed that the “patient or healthcare system pays for a more expensive agent instead of one that is cheaper and equally effective, and the public is offered misleading claims of comparative merit based on studies of limited scientific value.”
John Yudkin, emeritus professor of medicine at University College in London, conducted a second study where he found that Novo Nordisk “used trade agreements in South Africa to block the government’s use of generic antiretroviral drugs” and in 2010 “Novo Nordisk invoked negative headlines by threatening to withdraw all its products from Greece because of a governmental order to cut all drug prices by 25%.”
According to officials in Kano, 50 innocent children died because of the experiment; while untold others developed mental and physical deformities.
This experiment was perfectly timed. While a meningitis epidemic broke out in Nigeria, Pfizer happen to coincide this problem with the reveal of Trovan, which was distributed to Nigerians in response to the “outbreak”.
To receive the Food and Drug Administration’s certification of approval, Pfizer used Africa as their clinical trial laboratory to produce the proof they needed to make Trovan a profitable endeavor.
Africa has been the scene of numerous reports of unethical experimentation and deadly clinical trials conducted by the pharmaceutical corporations over decades. While the citizens of Africa are largely illiterate and ignorant of the damages clinical trials can produce, they are the perfect people to experiment on. Their governments use the clinical trials as if they were distributing safe medication in a basic threat to either take the experimental drugs or receive no medicine at all.
Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Dr. Aubrey Levin headed a project that forced South African gay and lesbian army soldiers to undergo sex change operations while enduring electroshock therapy, chemical castration, and various medical experiments in military hospitals.
Sterilization experiments were conducted in Namibia by Dr. Eugen Fischer against mixed-race children as an attempt to justify the national ban of mixed-race marriages in South West Africa. Fischer went on to conduct similar experiments on victims in Jewish concentration camps with Hams Harmsen, founder of the German branch of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).