In New Delhi, 49 babies died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (a public hospital renowned for providing low-cost treatment to the poor) while they were taking part in pharmaceutical clinical trials over a 30-month period. These babies had been given a variety of new drugs being studied to treat conditions like zinc deficiency, high blood pressure or a brain inflammation called chronic focal encephalitis. The head of the pediatrics department at the All India Institute claimed that “none of the deaths was due to the medication or interventions used in clinical trials.”
The blood-pressure drugs had never before been given to anyone under 18. Yet of the children enrolled in these studies, two-thirds of them were infants less than one year old.
As recently as 1990, only 271 drug trials were being conducted in foreign countries on drugs intended for North American use. But by 2008, that number had risen to 6,485—an increase of more than 2,000%. Continue reading