India becomes global drug trial ground for pharmaceuticals

India becomes global drug trial ground for pharmaceuticals


Human rights groups are raising concern over India turning into a hot spot for drug trials, where hospital patients are being used as guinea pigs for the world's pharmaceutical companies, sometimes without consent.

The groups also say that many of those who sign up do not understand the risks.

NGOs have cited gloomy statistics showing deaths resulting from drug trials in the country have been increasing over the last few years.

For the first six months of this year, nearly 500 deaths have been attributed to trials, which is more than the combined total for 2007 and 2008.

The cost of testing drugs is significantly lower in India, but many say the system needs an overhaul as the human cost is far too high.

India’s government-run hospitals provide low-cost treatment to the poor, but there are increasing claims that patients are being used as guinea pigs in drug trials for western pharmaceuticals without their knowledge.





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