News story from the conference: Ethics left behind in race for drug trials in the South

Paula Leighton

Credit: WCSJ

28 June 2011 | EN

The number of clinical trials in developing countries has surged in recent years but the legal and ethical frameworks to make them fair are often not in place, the 7th World Conference of Science Journalists, in Qatar (27–29 June), heard today.

By 2008, for example, there were three times as many developing countries participating in clinical trials registered with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) than there were in the entire period between 1948 and 2000, with many ‘transitional’ countries, such as Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa, taking part.

For the pharmaceutical industry, the attractions are the lower costs and the availability of ‘treatment-naive’ patients, who are much less likely to have been previously exposed to drugs or trials.

Full news story here

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