Woman gangraped on bus in Indore by 3 men including driver, conductor #Vaw #WTFnews


A 38-year-old married woman was allegedly gangraped on a private bus here by three men, including the driver and conductor.

Police today arrested the three accused, Zahid (30), who was the driver of the bus, conductor Lala (22) and Rajesh (25).

The victim had boarded the bus at Dewas yesterday after she had a quarrel with her husband, Tukoganj police station in-charge Majoj Ratnakar said.

When the bus reached here and all passengers barring the woman got off, the three accused allegedly raped her, police said.

 

#India- Court issues order on right of pregnant prisoners to access MTP #womenrights #reproductiverights


MADHYA PRADESH HIGH COURT AT INDORE ISSUES ORDER ON THE RIGHT OF PREGNANT PRISONERS TO ACCESS MEDICAL TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY

 

INDORE – The High Court of Madhya Pradesh at Indore issued an order allowing Hallo Bi, a pregnant female prisoner, to exercise her reproductive rights under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (Act). Hallo Bi had been sold into prostitution by her husband and after months of continuous instances of rape, she became pregnant.

In the order, the Court wrote, “We cannot force a victim of violent rape/forced sex to give birth to a child of a rapist. The anguish and the humiliation which the petitioner is suffering daily, will certainly cause a grave injury to her mental health.” This is a positive development for Hallo Bi and sets an important precedent for similar circumstances by affirming rape victims’ right to lawful termination of pregnancy under the 1971 Act. Unsafe abortions are one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in India with approximately 6.7 million abortions performed every year at unregulated facilities, often by medical practitioners untrained in abortion services.

In early December 2012, Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) Reproductive Rights Unit Assistant Director, Ms. Karla Torres, read an article in the Times of India about a pregnant woman who was in prison for murdering her husband and had been ordered to make a written application to the High Court for a termination of pregnancy. After communicating with HRLN advocate Mrs. Shanno Shagufta Khan in Indore and meeting with Hallo Bi, HRLN filed a petition requesting the High Court to allow for a medical termination of pregnancy.

The petition also stressed the Act’s silence on this issue and asked the High Court to issue guiding directions. As both the Act and the jail manual are silent on this aspect, the High Court had requested Hallo Bi to submit a written application for a medical termination of pregnancy. The High Court subsequently denied Hallo Bi’s application. HRLN’s petition stressed that the High Court had erred in not allowing Hallo Bi’s application as the power to refuse the same did not lie with the High Court.

Under the Act, the decision to terminate a pregnancy is between a woman and her doctor(s). As such, once a medical practitioner is of the opinion that the pregnant woman falls within the conditions laid down in the Act, a medical termination of pregnancy can take place. A court, therefore, does not have authority to determine whether a woman can or cannot terminate her pregnancy. Instead, a court can ensure that a woman who requests a medical termination of pregnancy under circumstances that satisfy the Act is provided with adequate medical care and services to fulfil her right to a termination of pregnancy.

Although the High Court found that Hallo Bi’s circumstances satisfied the MTP Act, the Court did not include guiding directions. Notwithstanding, HRLN plans to request a review of the petition so that this issue is taken up afresh and guiding directions are issued.

Download the full order here

 

Shocking allegations on Activist Madhuri and JADS being Maoists by the DM Badwani #WTFnews #Vaw


Dear friends,

Please find below the frightening news of trying to declare Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (JADS), the organsiation that Madhuri Works, as Maoist by the District Collector of Badwani. A letter that the District Collector Badwani wrote to the Divisional Commissioner in September has found its way to the Chief Secretary who sent to the Home Commissioner to enquire into it, has made headlines. IT is the topmost news in the Indore edition and the front page second lead in the Bhopal Edition.
While the news report in Nai Dunia also states these allegations against JADS is due the 150 crore scam exposed by them and the enquire against that scam is underway, and the details of the scam which has been published on page 10, however, the allegations are very  worrying, especially they have tried to insinuate that in Maharashtra there have been cases against them for their anti national work. Which is all rubbish.
D29496868
D29635758

 D228737460

कलेक्टर बोले-बड़वानी में नक्सली, पुलिस का इंकार
बड़वानी कलेक्टर के एक पत्र ने भोपाल के गलियारों में सनसनी फैला दी है। इस पत्र में कलेक्टर ने आदिवासियों और उनके अधिकारों को लेकर लड़ रहे संगठनों पर नक्सलियों से जुड़े होने के गंभीर आरोप लगाए हैं। यह भी खुलासा किया है कि १९९१ से नेटवर्क बना रहे संगठन अब यहां समानांतर सरकार चला रहे हैं। कलेक्टर ने जिले के पुलिस अधीक्षक पर भी मामले को दबाने का आरोप लगाया है। दूसरी ओर इस संगठन से जुड़े सामाजिक कार्यकर्ताओं का कहना है कि मनरेगा में बड़वानी जिले में करोड़ों के भ्रष्टाचार का खुलासा करने से बौखलाए अधिकारी इस तरह के आरोप लगा रहे हैं। मामला तब और विवादास्पद हो गया जब रेंज की आईजी ने क्षेत्र में नक्सलियों की किसी भी तरह की गतिविधि होने से साफ इंकार कर दिया।
बड़वानी प्रदेश का वह इलाका है जिसमें मनरेगा में भ्रष्टाचार की सबसे ज्यादा शिकायतें हुई हैं। पंचायत एवं ग्रामीण विकास विभाग द्वारा गड़बड़ियों की जांच के लिए ८० इंजीनियरों की टीम को यहां भेजा गया था। जिले के तीन ब्लॉकों में अभी भी जांच चल रही है। अभी तक हुई जांच में १५० करोड़ का भष्ट्राचार सामने आया है। कलेक्टर श्रीमन शुक्ला ने लगभग पांच माह पहले सरकार को पत्र लिखकर क्षेत्र में नक्सली गतिविधि बढ़ने के बारे में जानकारी दी थी। “नईदुनिया” के पास इस पत्र की प्रति है। पत्र में कहा गया था कि जाग्रत आदिवासी दलित संगठन सहित कई संस्थाएं आदिवासियों को उनके अधिकार दिलाने के नाम पर सरकार के विरोध में खड़ा कर रही हैं। इनमें अधिकांश संगठन विधिवत पंजीकृत भी नहीं हैं। इसमें मुख्य रूप से जागृत आदिवासी संगठन की मुखिया माधुरी को निशाना बनाते हुए आदिवासियों को नक्सली गतिविधियों की ओर धकेलने की कोशिश करने का आरोप जड़ा है।
कलेक्टर शुक्ला ने पुलिस महकमा को भी इन संगठनों के आगे लाचार बताया। पत्र में खुलासा किया है कि इस संगठन के आगे पुलिस भी बौनी साबित हो रही है। तत्कालीन पुलिस अधीक्षक बड़वानी ने २८ मार्च २०१० को सुश्री माधुरी के विरुद्ध जिलाबदर की कार्रवाई प्रस्तावित की थी लेकिन बाद में २६ मई २०१२ को पुलिस अधीक्षक बड़वानी ने इस प्रकरण को नस्तीबद्ध करने का अनुरोध किया।
प्रशासन की बेबसी बताई 
शुक्ला ने प्रशासन की बेबसी कुछ यूं जाहिर की कि संगठन के आगे जिला प्रशासन बेबस है। संगठन की मुखिया माधुरी जिला प्रशासन पर मनरेगा में गड़बड़ी के आरोप लगाकर दबाव बनाती हैं। संगठन स्वयं निर्णय लेता है कि उसे मनरेगा में कहां काम कराना है, कहां नहीं। वे स्वयं ही मस्टर रोल तैयार कर सरपंच-सचिवों पर दबाव बनाते हैं। श्री शुक्ला के पास कोई जवाब नहीं है कि जो गड़बड़ियां सामने आई हैं, उस पर उन्होंने क्या कार्रवाई की।
मनरेगा में हुए भ्रष्टाचार को लेकर आदिवासियों ने बड़वानी में ही सबसे ज्यादा आवाज उठा रहे हैं। इसी से बौखलाकर प्रशासन और राजनेता इसे दबाने के लिए तमाम आरोप लगा रहे हैं। मनरेगा को लेकर जांच के खुलासे से डर कर प्रशासन इस तरह के बयान दे रहा है। – माधुरी, जागृत आदिवासी दलित संगठन की प्रमुख
 
बड़वानी क्षेत्र में इस तरह की कोई नक्सली गतिविधि चलने की जानकारी नहीं है। – अनुराधा शंकर सिंह, आईजी इंदौर रेंज
*****************************************
मनरेगा का महाघोटालाः अब तक 150 करोड़ का घोटाला!
प्रदेश के बड़वानी जिले में मनरेगा को लेकर चौंकाने वाली जानकारियां सामने आ रही हैं। इस जांच से जुड़े पंचायत व ग्रामीण विकास विभाग के अधिकारियों द्वारा दी गई प्रारंभिक रिपोर्ट के अनुसार अब तक की जांच में करीब १५० करोड़ का घोटाला सामने आ रहा है। जिले के बड़वानी, पानसेमल, निवाली और पाटी विकासखंडों की जांच हो चुकी है, जबकि सेंधवा, राजपुर और ठीकरी विकासखंडों में जांच जारी है। घोटाले की गूंज भोपाल तक ही नहीं, दिल्ली में ग्रामीण विकास मंत्रालय तक भी है। यहां मनरेगा में बड़े पैमाने पर हुए घोटाले की जांच करीब दो माह से चल रही है। इसमें प्रदेश के विभिन्ना जिलों के करीब सौ अधिकारियों और इंजीनियरों को लगाया गया है। अफसर गत तीन साल में मनरेगा में हुए कामों की जांच कर रहे हैं। जांच दलों में अधीक्षण यंत्री से लेकर कार्यपालन यंत्री, एसडीओ और सब इंजीनियर तक अधिकारी व तकनीकी जानकार हैं। जांच दलों में इंदौर, देवास ही नहीं रीवा, बालाघाट, सिवनी, बैतूल जैसे दूरस्थ जिलों से भी अधिकारी बड़वानी जिले में डेरा डाले हुए हैं।
जांच के लिए ग्रामीण विकास विभाग की ओर से कलेक्टर को पत्र लिखा गया है। बताया जाता है कि जिले में मनरेगा की गड़बड़ियों की शिकायत केंद्रीय ग्रामीण विकास मंत्री जयराम रमेश को भी की गई थी। जांच जारी है और इसके साथ ही घोटाले की कई परतें खुलती जा रही हैं। इसमें सरपंच-सचिवों के अलावा जनपद पंचायत के मुख्य कार्यपालन अधिकारियों की भी लिप्तता सामने आ रही है। पूरे मामले में जिला प्रशासन के आला अधिकारियों की भूमिका भी संदिग्ध नजर आ रही है।
कार्रवाई करेंगे 
बड़वानी जिले में मनरेगा को लेकर जांच जारी है। जांच रिपोर्ट के बाद जो भी दोषी पाया जाएगा, उसके विरुद्ध कार्रवाई की जाएगी। – अरुणा शर्मा, अपर मुख्य सचिव, पंचायत व ग्रामीण विकास विभाग, मप्र जनपद पंचायत 
घोटाला ही घोटाला
पानसेमल की एक पंचायत में ४.५० लाख की सड़क का मूल्यांकन केवल १२ हजार रु. निकला। सड़क की लंबाई ७५० मीटर निर्धारित थी, लेकिन दस कदम में सड़क खत्म हो गई।
मनरेगा की ऑनलाइन (एमआईएस) इंट्री में कई पंचायतों की फर्जी इंट्री की गई है। जनपद पंचायत ने एक ओर इंट्री बताई है लेकिन जांच दलों को जो सूची दी है, उसमें खर्च ही नहीं दर्शाया गया है।
कई जगह लोक निर्माण विभाग और वन विभाग की बनाई सड़कों को ही मनरेगा की सड़कें बताकर राशि निकाल ली गई। पानसेमल और पाटी की दूरस्थ पंचायतों में इस तरह के कई उदाहरण सामने आए हैं।
निवाली, पानसेमल आदि जनपदों में कागजों में कई तालाबों, सड़कों को पूर्ण बता दिया गया है और उनका खर्च भी डाला गया है लेकिन गांवों में देखा गया तो वहां काम नदारद है।
पानसेमल, पाटी जनपदों के पहाड़ी इलाकों में सरपंच-सचिवों ने घाट कटिंग के नाम पर लाखों-करोड़ों रु. फूंक दिए, लेकिन मौके पर जाकर देखा गया तो ऐसा कुछ नहीं है।
पाटी और निवाली में कई जगह वन भूमि पर बिना अनुमति के सड़कें बना दी हैं।

Shehla murder case: Next hearing on January 24 #RTI


My Friend Shehla Masood

My Friend Shehla Masood

TNN Jan 12, 2013, 02.05AM IST

INDORE: A BSNL officer deposed before special CBI Court of Anupam Shirvastav on Friday in connection with RTI activist Shehla Masood murder case. SDO, Bhopal Pawan Kumar Tak had provided the call details in 91 pages of several people that are attached with the chargesheet.

The statement and cross examination of witnesses continued for nearly five hours due to which petition of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking permission for re-examine the prime accused in the case, Zaheda Parvez and Saba Farooqui and bail applications of accused could be heard as there was no enough time. Now decision on the CBI petition for re-examine prime accused will be taken on next hearing scheduled for January 24. Statement of other witnesses and bail applications of accused be heard on February 12 and 13.

Advocate HO Soni appeared on behalf of Zaheda Parvez, advocate Pradeep Gupta appeared for Tabish and Danger, advocate Sunil Shrivastav appeared for Saba Farooqui and advocate Mahendra Morya appeared for Irfan. Advocate Hemant Shukla appeared for CBI.

Advocate Sunil Shrivastav said call details of Shehla Masood and Sultan Masood have not been presented before court and till now, the details of real users of given mobile numbers are not clear.

Mahendra Morya said bail application of Irfan could not be heard due to lack of time and now court will hear it on February 12 and 13, when bail applications of other accused will also be listed.

Raising question over CBI, Saba Farooqui while being taken out of the court said DIG and some senior officials of CBI had met Danger in jail on Thursday, however, she refused to have knowledge about the content of discussion. On the other hand, Danger said many people keep on meeting him in jail.

 

Supreme Court admits PIL on cancer cervical vaccine trial #goodnews


TNN | Jan 8, 2013,

INDORE: The Supreme Court on Monday admitted a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by local activists alleging that pharma companies had conducted unauthorised drug tests of their vaccine on tribal girls.

The petition alleges that pharma companies, including Glaxo Smithkline and MSD Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd tested gardasil and cervarix — two unproven HPV vaccines purported to prevent cervical cancer — on nearly 24,000 tribal girls in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, including 44 persons at the Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital (MYH). Of 44 patients subjected to drug trials in the state, 10 were males.

PIL filed by Kalpana Mehta of Indore, Nalini Bhanot and V Rukmini Rao representing Gramya Resource Centre for Women alleges that the testing had led to adverse effects on girls’ health and the pharma companies ignored their further treatment. Seven girls allegedly succumbed during the vaccine trial. The petitioners were represented by Colin Gonsalves of the Human Rights Law Network.

Admitting the case, Justice S Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra have directed the Union government to immediately file its reply on the issue.

The apex court has also directed that the Christian Medical College, Vellore, should be asked to examine the medical record of the girls in question and submit a report to the court.

This order comes in the backdrop of allegations by activists that multinational companies are influencing state governments to carry out clinical trials on humans, which are often not transparent or regulated efficiently. The PIL alleges that PATH, an NGO, had initiated a project for the introduction of the two vaccines in India by signing a MoU with ICMR even before they were licensed by the Drugs Controller of India.

 

Wife’s duty is to perform household work and husband should earn: Mohan Bhagwat RSS Chief #WTFnews #Vaw


Dr. Mohan Madhukar Bhagawat is the sixth Sarsa...

Dr. Mohan Madhukar Bhagawat is the sixth Sarsanghachalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sunday, January 06, 2013, 10:13

New Delhi: After creating a huge uproar by his remarks that rapes are rampant in India not Bharat, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has kicked-off a fresh controversy by saying that women should restrict themselves to household work and satisfy their husband.According to a CNN-IBN report, Bhagwat, while addressing a gathering in Indore, said that a man and his wife are bound by a contract and a woman’s duty is to take care of household tasks and a husband should earn and look after his wife.

IBN quoted RSS chief as saying, “There is a theory of social contract in the universe. A husband and a wife are bound by a contract which says – you (woman) look after the household chores and satisfy me, I (man) will take care of your needs and will protect you. Till she delivers her duties without fail, he keeps her on the contract and if she fails to honour the contract, he disowns her. And if it is the husband who is not honouring the contract, she can also abandon him. One can go for a new contract then.”

The controversial remarks comes two days after the RSS chief said, “Such crimes (rapes) hardly take place in ‘Bharat’, but they occur frequently in ‘India’.” Bhagwat had said this while he was speaking on the issues concerning women.

The ageing chief of the right-wing Hindu organisation also blamed the western culture and the excessive urbanisation for rising crimes against women.

During his speech, Bhagwat had said that those living in urban India are highly influenced with the ‘western’ lifestyle and culture and this could be one of the reasons for increasing crimes against women.

However, he said that there is no erosion of moral values among those living in the rural India. 

“You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gang-rape or sex crimes. They are prevalent in some urban belts. Besides new legislations, Indian ethos and attitude towards women should be revisited in the context of ancient Indian values,” Bhagwat was quoted as saying by the media.

Reacting to the Bhagwat’s remarks, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had put up a brave defence, saying the statement should be seen in the proper context and he was referring to India’s culture, tradition and value system.

“The present controversy relating to certain comments of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is totally uncalled for and unnecessary. His comments are required to be seen and understood in entirety. He was referring to India’s sanskar, tradition and value system where respect for women occupies a pride of place,” BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad had said.

 

Shehla Masood murder case: Photographer deposes before CBI court


Nov 26, 2012, Firstpost


Indore
: A photographer, who had taken the photos at the murder spot of RTI activist Shehla Masood, today deposed before the Special CBI court here and was cross examined by defence counsels in the case.

Photographer S C Sharma, who accompanied the forensic science experts after Shehla was allegedly murdered outside her house in Bhopal on August 16, 2011, appeared before the Special CBI Court of Justice Anupam Srivastava.

During cross examination by defence counsel A J Bhojwani, Sharma told the court that while taking pictures, the bullet could not be spotted from outside.

Shehla Masood. Pic courtesy IBNLive.

The witness also showed the court 22 pictures that he took with a camera using a “roll” (not digital camera).

While being cross examined by defence counsel Sunil Srivastava, Sharma admitted that he had not entered the log book of his visit to the site, nor signed anywhere in the official register. Prints were made out of the negative film and were handed over to the competent authority, the photographer told the court.

Later, defence lawyer Sunil Srivastava told reporters that the photos were taken “illegally” by not observing official norms.

“The prosecution witness could not reply from where he brought the camera and roll. The film was developed either in an outside studio or private institution,” Srivastava alleged. The trial will now continue on December 13.

Zahida Pervez, an interior designer, has been named as the prime accused in the case by CBI along with four others.

Other accused are Zahida’s friend Saba Farooqui, and alleged shooters Irfan Ali, Tabish Khan, and Saquib Ali alias danger.

All the five charged with murder and criminal conspiracy were present in the court today.

Shehla was shot dead outside her house in Bhopal’s Koh-e-Fiza locality on August 16, 2011.

 

Have #India’s poor become human guinea pigs? #clinicaltrials


By Sue Lloyd-RobertsBBC Newsnight

Narayan Survaiya and family
Narayan Survaiya’s mother Tizuja Bai died several weeks after being given new drugs

Drug companies are facing mounting pressure to investigate reports that new medicines are being tested on some of the poorest people in India without their knowledge.

“We were surprised,” Nitu Sodey recalls about taking her mother-in-law Chandrakala Bai to Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital in Indore in May 2009.

“We are low caste people and normally when we go to the hospital we are given a five rupee voucher, but the doctor said he would give us a foreign drug costing 125,000 rupees (£1,400).”

The pair had gone to the hospital, located in the biggest city in Madhya Pradesh, an impoverished province in central India, because Bai was experiencing chest pains.

Their status as Dalits – the bottom of the Hindu caste system, once known as Untouchables – meant that they were both accustomed to going to the back of the queue when they arrived and waiting many hours before seeing a doctor.


Nitu Sodey

This was really expensive treatment for the likes of us”

Nitu Sodey

But this time it was different and they were seen immediately.

“The doctor took the five rupee voucher given to BLPs [Below the Poverty Line] like us and said the rest would be paid for by a special government fund for poor people,” Sodey explains. “This was really expensive treatment for the likes of us.”

What Sodey says she did not know was that her mother-in-law was being enrolled in a drugs trial for the drug Tonapofylline, which was being tested by Biogen Idec. Neither could read and Sodey says she does not remember signing a consent form.

Bai suffered heart abnormalities after being given the trial drug. She was taken off it and discharged after a few days. Less than a month later, she suffered a cardiac arrest and died at the age of 45.

The trial, which was registered in the UK by Biogen Idec, was later halted due, say the company, to the number of seizures recorded. The company also says Bai’s death was not reported to them.

Her case is not an isolated incident.

In a different trial with a different company, Narayan Survaiya says neither he nor his late mother Tizuja Bai were asked if she wanted to participate, or even told that she was taking part in one, when she sought treatment for problems with her legs. And, like Sodey, he claims the family were told that a charity was footing the bill for the care.

A few weeks after taking the drug, Survaiya says his mother’s health deteriorated and she was left unable to walk.

“I told the doctor, but he said don’t stop the doses. It is a temporary paralysis and the drug will make it better.”


Please don’t do these trials on poor people – rich people can overcome these problems but if I can’t work the whole family suffers”

Ramadhar Shrivastav

His mother died a few weeks later.

In all, 53 people were test subjects in that trial, which was sponsored by British and German drug companies, and eight died. There is no hard evidence that the drug was the cause of death, but nor were there any autopsies to enable a full investigation.

Over the past seven years, some 73 clinical trials on 3,300 patients – 1,833 of whom were children – have taken place at Indore’s Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital. Dozens of patients have died during the trials, however no compensation has been paid to the families left behind.

Internal hospital documents seen by Newsnight reveal that since 2005, 80 cases of severe adverse events in trials have been recorded in Indore. One patient listed on the severe adverse events document is Naresh Jatev, who is now four.

His father, Ashish Jatav, says that his son was a healthy three-day-old baby when doctors said he needed a polio vaccine.

Naresh Jatev and familyNaresh Jatev – in the white shirt – with his family

The family says that they had no idea that the drug Naresh was given was a trial one, and that the hospital forms which they signed had been written in English “so we couldn’t understand anything”.

According to an investigation by the hospital, the healthy baby boy had a seizure shortly after receiving the drug and suffered an attack of bronchitis.

Drug trials in India

  • Almost 2,000 trials in past seven years
  • Tests include drugs made by well-known companies such as Biogen Idec, Astra Zeneca and Glaxo Smith Kline
  • 288 deaths in 2008
  • 637 deaths in 2009
  • 668 deaths in 2010
  • 438 deaths in 2011

He now has breathing and eating problems, although the family have been assured that this is nothing to do with the trial vaccine. They say they no longer know what to believe.

Time after time in Indore, I heard a depressingly familiar tale of poor, often uneducated people saying how flattered and privileged they were made to feel as they were suddenly offered the chance to receive medicines usually out of their reach. All of them claim that, contrary to Indian laws governing drugs trials, there was no informed consent.

I also repeatedly heard patients’ relatives say that the treatment they received at Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital was overseen by Dr Anil Bharani.

Bharani has since been charged by the state government for receiving illegal payments and foreign trips from drug companies, and for carrying out drugs trials without patients’ consent.

He refused to speak to Newsnight, even when I approached him in person in his office at the hospital. He called security and I was marched out of the hospital by an armed guard. But two days later, Bharani was himself transferred from the hospital after more than 30 years service.

Bharani is just one of a number of doctors at the hospital who have been already been fined for irregularities during drugs trials. None of the problems might have ever come to light if it had not been for another doctor, Dr Arnand Rai, who had an office on the same floor of the hospital.

Dr Arnand Rai with Sue Lloyd RobertsDr Rai says he was fired for raising concerns

Rai says he became concerned when he saw poor people being ushered in to the best consulting rooms. He says he was sacked from his job because of his questioning, but that he has been researching the hospital trials ever since.

“They choose only poor people,” he says, even though drug trial protocols demand that they should be carried out on all sections of society. “They chose poor, illiterate people who do not understand the meaning of clinical drug trials.”

Dr KD Bhargava, head of the ethics committee at Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital, admits that the hospital’s oversight of the trials has been flawed. “Suddenly lots of money got involved and there was too much going on. And, yes, maybe we may have lost control,” he says.

But the issue goes well beyond one hospital.

Since India relaxed its laws governing drugs trials in 2005, foreign drug companies have been keen to take advantage of the country’s pool of educated, English-speaking doctors and the huge population from which to choose trial subjects.

The Bhopal disaster

A rally in memory of the Bhopal victims
  • Considered the world’s worst industrial disaster
  • On night of 2 December 1984, Union Carbide’s pesticide plant leaked tonnes of lethal chemicals over Bhopal
  • At least 3,000 people died in first 24 hours
  • And thousands more from after-affects

In the past seven years, nearly 2,000 trials have taken place in the country and the number of deaths increased from 288 in 2008 to 637 in 2009 to 668 in 2010, before falling to 438 deaths in 2011, the latest figures available.

The provincial capital of Madhya Pradesh is Bhopal – a city whose name will for ever be linked with the world’s worst industrial accident. An explosion at the Union Carbide plant caused a gas leak that killed an estimated 25,000 people, campaigners say.

The only good thing to come out of the disaster was the Bhopal Memorial Hospital, built as part of a compensation agreement with Union Carbide to help care for some half a million locals affected by the disaster.

Little did they know that when they came for treatment, some would be used for clinical drug trials.

Ramadhar Shrivastav was one such person. As he makes his way uncertainly to the door of his house to greet me, he says he was lucky, having got off comparatively lightly in the 1984 disaster – only his sight was affected.

Five years ago, he suffered a heart attack and went to the Bhopal Memorial Hospital. He does not read English, and it was a journalist who last year noted that his discharge paper showed that he was part of a trial by the British company Astra Zeneca on a drug being tested for patients with ACS (acute coronary syndrome).

Shrivastav claims the drug has affected him badly and he now cannot work.

Ramadhar Shrivastav and family
Ramadhar Shrivastav had previously been caught up in the Bhopal leak

When he learned we were from Britain, he asked us to pass on a message to Astra Zeneca.

“Please don’t do these trials on poor people. Rich people can overcome these problems but if I can’t work the whole family suffers. Why did they choose us? They should have tested it on themselves.”

Professor NP Mishra

It’s not being tried out to harm them” Professor NP Mishra

Astra Zeneca admit there were problems with consent with a few patients on the trial identified through there routine monitoring during the trial and the issues were quickly rectified. They say that Shrivastav was not one of those affected.

From a medical point of view, doctors agree that the long-term effects of exposure to the Bhopal gas, methyl isocyanate, are still not known so why use the victims for drug trials? I put this question a doctor involved in setting up the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and who once served on the ethics committee there, Professor NP Mishra.

He says trials are carried out for the long-term benefit of patients. “It’s not being tried out to harm them.”

But haven’t these people suffered enough? Is it right to put them at further risk in a clinical drug trial? “The way you talk, medicines would never be developed.”

I ask again, why choose gas victims? “That I cannot comment on,” he says. “It was not my job to find out.”

Sue Lloyd-Roberts reports from the poverty-stricken state of Madhya Pradesh

The problem, I found while working on this subject, is finding anyone who is prepared to be held responsible.

I found Tarjun Prajapati supervising a construction site in a new suburb of Bhopal. He is joint owner of a building company. His father was a gas victim who, four years ago, suffered a heart attack. He was given drug called Fondaparinux at the Memorial Hospital. When he ran out of the medication, his son found it easier to nip out to the shops rather than cross town to pick up more from the hospital for his father.

“I went to the market to buy them but couldn’t,” he remembers. “I was told they were only available from the hospital and only then did I realise he was on a trial drug. I feel very bad that my Dad died because of those medicines.”

This claim is impossible to verify because, once again, there was no autopsy.

On the trial documents, it says that the British company Glaxo Smith Kline are the sponsors of the drug, are responsible for the trial and are the investigators of the drug.

But GSK says they bought the rights to the drug while the trial was being carried out by the French company Sanofi, which is named as a collaborator on the document. When we contacted Sanofi, they told us the trial was in fact “conducted through an Indian research organisation called Quintiles”.

Lawyer Satnam  Singh BainsSatnam Singh Bains, a British barrister in Indore, is looking into the complaints

There is no doubt that the drugs trial set-up can be complicated. A couple of drug companies might team up and then delegate the actual work of the trial to what in India are called Clinical Research Outsourcing Organisations. In the past, when there have charges of malpractice, drug companies have tended to blame these local companies.

Which leaves those who believe they have a just grievance against the drug companies somewhat bewildered.

Lawyers are now looking at whether there is a case to answer in the UK. Satnam Singh Bains, a British barrister in Indore, is looking into a couple of cases.

He shows me a recently published report by the Indian Parliamentary Committee on Health and Family Welfare that looks into what is happening around the country. The report is damning.

It confirms that the set-up for regulating trials in India is, in Singh Bains’ words, “not fit for purpose”. There are too few inspectors at the regulatory agency, coping with too many demands, including having to supply data on 700 parliamentary questions and 150 court cases in one year.

“Still worse,” the report says, “there is adequate documentary evidence to come to the conclusion that many opinions [during the drug trials] were actually written by the invisible hand of drug manufacturers and experts [the doctors] merely obliged by putting their signatures.”

Singh Bains says there are real concerns. “About, at the very least, collusion between experts and the drug manufacturers or, at worse, there is a suggestion that there is a fraud taking place – that these reports are being signed off without any independent, clinical scrutiny of their findings in the way that conclusions are expressed.”

He adds that this could have global implications about “whether the findings of these clinical trials can be safely relied upon”.

The dark underbelly of India’s clinical trials business- #medical ethics #humanrights


Incidents at Bhopal and Indore highlight irregularities and ethical violations in some trials
Malia Politzer  |   Vidya Krishnan

First Published: Wed, Oct 10 2012. , at Live Mint

Protesters outside the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre. Photo: Sayeed Farooqui/Mint
Updated: Thu, Oct 11 2012. 12 20 AM IST
New Delhi: In 2004, doctors at the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC), established exclusively for treating the victims of the 1984 gas leak, recruited unsuspecting survivors for clinical trials without their knowledge or consent; 14 participants died during the course of the trials.
Together with the episode in Indore’s Maharaja Yashwantrao Hospital (that Mint reported on 10 October), where 32 people have died in clinical trials between 2005 and 2010, this incident highlights irregularities and ethical violations in some trials conducted by clinical research firms and pharma companies—the dark underbelly of the booming clinical trial business in India.
In 2005, India introduced patent protection laws. Since then, it has become a global hub for clinical trials, drawing companies because of its ethnically diverse pool of potential test subjects, while bringing down research and development (R&D) costs by nearly 60% in phase II and III trials, according to lobby group Confederation of Indian Industry.
A phase II trial establishes the protocol for testing and a phase III one is the final testing prior to approval.
Regulatory failures have marred the clinical trial business in India, experts said, pointing to lapses in the functioning of so-called ethical committees that are required by law for each trial, contract research organizations (CROs) and the Central Drug Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).
A parliamentary panel in May found CDSCO to be in collusion with drug companies and doctors, and approving at least one drug every month without conducting clinical trials or seeking expert medical opinion. Concerns over the conduct of clinical trials prompted the same panel to look into the rapidly growing industry, and the international and domestic pharmaceutical companies sponsoring them.

“Many issues have been raised in Parliament—people being treated as guinea pigs, lack of informed consent and unattributed deaths during trials,” said Sanjay Jaiswal, a Lok Sabha member and a physician himself. “We are not against clinical trials. The issue is about how these trials are being done. Rules need to be followed.”

A report on this will be presented to Parliament in the winter session, he said.
Medical ethicists are concerned that the rapid growth— without trained manpower or a clear-cut regulatory framework —could be a “race to the bottom”, with global ramifications and not just confined to one country.
“What the media doesn’t get straight is that drug companies aren’t using poor Indians as guinea pigs for Americans,” said Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at the New York University Langone Medical Center. “The more common thing is that say Vietnam competes with India to see if the companies will come and bring in their studies, bring in the doctors, bring some relief if the drug or vaccine works—maybe spend some money in these places, give a bribe or two to the local health ministry to recruit in the local mental hospital. So, if India tightens regulation, companies will just go to Vietnam. This is not just an India problem—it’s a global issue.”
A globalized market
International boundaries blurred substantially when the US food and drug administration (FDA) relaxed regulations allowing drug companies to submit results of foreign trials in applications for new drugs to be marketed in the US.
Between 1990 and 2008, the number of clinical trials conducted largely by US companies shot up about 24 times to 6,465 from 271, according to a 2011 article in Vanity Fair. The 20 largest US-based drug makers conduct about one-third of their phase III clinical trials outside the country, and a majority of their study sites also are elsewhere, according to American Medical News.
A large genetic pool, high-quality hospitals, English-speaking staff and low costs make India an attractive destination for pharma firms looking to conduct clinical trials.
According to CDSCO, there are an estimated 150,000 people enrolled in clinical trials in India. According to a 2011 Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) report, nearly 100 domestic and multinational pharmaceutical companies are conducting trials in the country and the business is worth Rs.8,000 crore.
Trials in countries such as India are cheaper to run: According to a 2008 Harvard Business Reviewarticle, tracking Indian test subjects costs between $1,500 and $2,000, (Rs.79,500 and Rs.1.06 lakh today), while in the US, it would cost $20,000.
When clinical trials are conducted ethically, India’s poor also stand to gain. With only 20% of India’s 1.2 billion people covered by health insurance and 35% living below the poverty line, the bulk of the population pays from the pocket for healthcare, according to health industry data provided by Assocham.
“A lot of patients don’t have access to healthcare otherwise,” said Irene Schipper, a researcher at the Netherlands-based Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO). “But the problem, of course, is that when the clinical trial is over, they don’t have access anymore.”
Many clinical trials aren’t conducted ethically.
Schipper is concerned that tight regulatory policies in the US and the European Union (EU) appear to be driving high-risk trials to developing countries such as India, where rules or their enforcement may be lax. In 2008, SOMO released a report, Ethics for drug testing in low and middle-income countries, cataloguing a trend of offshoring risky clinical trials to developing countries that would be prohibited by ethics committees in the EU.
In one case, AstraZaneca Plc sponsored large, multi-centred placebo-controlled trials for Seroquel XR, an anti-psychotic drug for the treatment of patients with schizophrenia. The drug was tested against a placebo, which meant that roughly half the participants—all diagnosed schizophrenics—went without any treatment for the duration of the trial.
Due to the worsening of their conditions, 8.3% of the patients receiving the placebo required hospitalization. After 173 days of placebo treatment, one 25-year-old man committed suicide. “The consequences of this practice are serious,” Schipper said in the report. “According to the Declaration of Helsinki, this type of trial can never justify the use of a placebo because it involves withholding treatment from seriously ill patients risking irreversible harm. Nevertheless, the Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board approved Seroquel XR for the EU market.”
The multi-centre trials were conducted in India, Bulgaria, Poland, Russia and the Ukraine. While companies also continue to conduct such clinical trials elsewhere, “these days you’re seeing a lot more of these sorts of trials in India”, she said.
“At AstraZeneca, we take very seriously our responsibility towards the patients participating in our studies and our responsibility to deliver consistently high standards of ethical practice and scientific conduct in all our trials wherever they take place,” Andrew Higgins, a spokesperson for AstraZeneca, said in a statement.
“A placebo treatment does not imply a deficient standard of care. In accordance with the Good Clinical Practice rules, all patients in our clinical trials are provided with the same amount of care and are strictly monitored with the option to switch to another therapy or to be discontinued from the study where it becomes necessary,” he said.
Offshoring responsibility
Central to the growth of off-shoring clinical trials is the role of CROs—independent companies hired by sponsors to undertake clinical trials. Nearly 90% of trials in India are conducted by CROs, favoured by sponsors for their ability to form partnerships with local research organizations, recruit large numbers of participants and quickly conduct trials.
But medical ethicists worry this comes with a dark side. “To put it in a somewhat less polite way, the big company outsources the responsibility to the CRO. If something goes wrong, they say the CRO is completely responsible for this,” bioethicist Caplan said.
In 2011, CDSCO suspended the licence of Hyderabad-based CRO Axis Clinicals Ltd for recruiting illiterate women for a trial without obtaining proper consent. Following the incident, DCGI ordered an investigation into the operation of all 10 CROs in Andhra Pradesh.
Axis failed to respond to Mint’s repeated requests for comment.
“The problem with outsourcing to CROs is that oversight can be problematic,” said Schipper. Many CROs will divide tasks, such as administration, recruitment and research among various other CROs, making monitoring the process difficult for sponsors who are often based overseas, she said. “In our research, we’ve interviewed sponsors who have stopped using CROs entirely because they found that the cost of effectively monitoring them was greater than the money saved by hiring them.”
Caplan further worries that market incentives can drive CROs to complete trials at any cost. “There’s a conflict of interest when you hire a CRO, to act as a scientific and an ethical committee in India,” he said. “The sponsor wants the data—and wants it fast, and every day a study goes past its predicted date of completion, because they don’t have subjects enrolled, costs millions and millions of dollars—perhaps then they don’t continue to pay as much attention to informed consent or eligibility criteria.”
No functional regulatory system
Axis is not the first CRO in India to be facing hard questions: Quintiles, one of the largest global companies in the segment and based out of North Carolina, received a polite warning letter from DCGI for the clinical trials on Bhopal gas victims. “It should be noted that the studies conducted at BMHRC were approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee that was completely aware of the medical status of the patients visiting the hospital and participating in these trials,” Quintiles wrote in response to Mint’s inquiries.
Doctors, activists and researchers note that Indian ethics committees are often flawed. “Ethics committees are the front line regulators for clinical trials. If they were functional, they would be a major factor in preventing unethical trials,” said Amar Jasani, a researcher and trainer in the field of bioethics and public health. “The problem is the ethics committees are completely controlled by the institutions—they are not at all independent, the people on the committees are not trained, nor do they have the resources or independence to do their job.”
According to Jasani, Indian law allows for commercial ethics committees to be hired by the very CROs they are meant to monitor. “There’s a double conflict-of-interest,” he said. “They are governed by the CROs or the pharma companies. At the same time they are profit making—so they are more motivated by financial interest than (the safety of participants).”
While international standards governing clinical trials do exist, most are voluntary and lack regulatory teeth. The Delcaration of Helsinki, of which India is a signatory, says that potential research subjects need to be informed of the risks involved prior to participation, and reserve the right to refuse to participate.
Foreign drug authorities, such as FDA, have also made efforts to curtail unethical trials, by requiring that drug companies abide by certain guidelines. But their reach is limited. A 2010 report by the US Government Accountability Office found that FDA inspects fewer than 1% of clinical trials abroad, and that in many cases, it isn’t aware where clinical trials are being conducted until drug companies submit applications to market the new drug.
“There is no registry or international database—so I don’t think anyone knows what percentage of clinical trials are happening in the developing world. How many participants are men or women, old or young is also hard to know,” said Caplan. “We don’t have good information about what is really going on there, until there is a scandal, a problem or a death—but the overall picture is tough to know, because no one is responsible for monitoring it.”
The impact, though, is widespread: Nearly 80% of drug applications to FDA for marketing approval include tests done on foreign soil. With an FDA stamp of approval, many of the drugs end up being sold all over the world. “Seeing this as Americans exploiting Indians is not accurate,” said Caplan. “Drug companies are equally happy to sell to wealthy Indians. Drugs tested in these trials are eventually sold everywhere—studies in poor nations affect everyone.”

 

#India- Clinical trials: Regulating chaos #Medical ethics #Humanrights


-Vidya Krishnan and Malia Politzer

First Published: Wed, Oct 10 2012.  Live Mint

Lata Mehra’s experience exposes the gaps in both regulation and enforcement in clinical trials, which, in some instances, have caused deaths, in addition to violating fundamental human rights. Photo: Akhil Hardia/ Mint
A hospital in Indore has been able to get away with unethical medical trials in which 32 people have died over five years, according to the state government. This despite several investigations, a state government ban and Supreme Court strictures—a classic example of the lawless nature of the clinical trial business in India.
Lata Mehra, who works in a government-run healthcare centre, was desperate when doctors told her in 2009 that she would be on medication for the rest of her life after a heart attack. The monthly medical bill, a little less than half her salary of Rs.1,000 per month, would leave her with enough to just cover food and rent.
Then, Anil Bharani, a professor of medicine at the state-run Maharaja Yashwantrao Hospital in Indore, offered the 47-year-old a dream deal that he called a “company plan”. The Rs.1,300 a month plan would pay for the drugs and also reimburse Mehra for transportation.
What Mehra did not know was that the “company plan” was part of an unauthorized drug trial of anticoagulants. Nor was she aware that Bharani and some of his colleagues were already being investigated by the state government over allegations of misconduct in clinical trials, an investigation that eventually led to the banning of the trial by the Madhya Pradesh government in October 2010.
Regardless, Bharani continued the trials despite the ban, and Mehra unknowingly became a test case for the drugs.
photo

Lata Mehra. Photo: Akhil Hardia/Mint

The ban was imposed after it was uncovered that informed consent was not taken, and the patients subjected to clinical trials included newborns, children, pregnant women and mentally challenged persons.

The state followed up with more action, and in January barred Bharani and another doctor from conducting trials, and pulled up 12 other doctors at Maharaja Yashwantrao Hospital and 78 other private doctors for refusing to cooperate in the investigation.
That too hasn’t stopped the trials.
Bharani and officials at the hospital declined comment.
The Indore case highlights glaring gaps in regulation and enforcement in India’s rapidly growing clinical trial industry. A 2011 Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India report put the value of the business at Rs.8,000 crore, or $1.8 billion.
On Monday, the Supreme Court turned the spotlight on the business of clinical trials, when it threatened to impose a blanket ban on clinical trials across the country if the Union government didn’t act. The court has given the Union health ministry a month to provide the apex court with information on deaths, compensation and general practices when new drugs are tested on Indians.
“We can even issue a one-line direction that all these clinical trials which affect many people must stop forthwith,” justices R.M. Lodha and A.R. Dave said, hearing public interest cases dealing with the incidents at the Indore hospital.
The court’s order has once again drawn attention to India’s inadequate regime to regulate such trials. Not all clinical trials run in India violate norms, yet, Mehra’s experience exposes the gaps in both regulation and enforcement in clinical trials, which, in some instances, have caused deaths, in addition to violating fundamental human rights.
Government apathy
Mehra was more than happy with the “company plan” until her neighbour Mangilal Shreevas died suddenly, in early 2012.
“He was also a heart patient covered under the same ‘company plan’ at the same hospital and under the same doctor,” said the healthcare worker. “We took the same pills and we went to the hospital together for check-ups. After Mangilal’s death, his wife wanted his medical case sheets to lodge a complaint, but the hospital refused. I was disturbed by this and wanted a different doctor to have a look at my case sheet.”
The rest of her story is similar to that of several such participants in unauthorized clinical trials who express reservations. The doctors refused to hand over the medical file, saying it was “hospital property” and took Mehra off the “plan”. The reimbursements were discontinued.
Meanwhile, in January this year, the state government gave two doctors, Bharani and Ashish Patel, a rap on the knuckles, telling them to refrain from conducting clinical trials for six months; it also fined 12 doctors Rs.5,000 each for not cooperating with investigators.
The fines have not yet been paid, and despite the ban, the trials continue, according to petitioners Swasthya Adhikar Manch, an activist group and Dr Anand Rai, a whistle-blower who filed two separate public interest litigations (PILs) in February 2012 bringing the subject to the court’s attention.
So far, 32 people enrolled in various trials at Maharaja Yashwantrao Hospital have died between 2005 and 2010; the state government has attributed the deaths directly to the testing.
Bharani and Maharaja Yashwantrao Hospital are the targets of both a central probe by a parliamentary committee looking into irregularities in clinical trials across the country, as well as a state level investigation of ethical violations in 94 clinical trials conducted at the hospital.
Judicial activism
Mounting evidence prompted the Supreme Court to step in. Hearing the PILs on the Indore trials, the same two-judge bench of the Supreme Court came down hard on the government and said on 17 July: “There has to be some sense of responsibility (on the part of the government). Human beings are being treated as guinea pigs. This is unfortunate.”
Meanwhile, the ethical committees that were supposed to have overseen the trials continue to function, said Amulya Nidhi, an Indore-based public health activist belonging to the Swasthya Adhikar Manch.
Complaints made to the Human Rights Commission—both state and national—are yet to yield results. In 2011, the joint director of health, Indore division, constituted a four-member committee that recommended the state impose a lifetime medical practice ban on each guilty doctor at Maharaja Yashwantrao Hospital and cancel registrations. That has had no impact.
Powerless government
As disturbing as the trials is the government’s apparent inability to do anything to regulate them.
In June 2011, the Madhya Pradesh economic offences wing (EOW) submitted a report on clinical trials at Maharaja Yashwantrao Hospital that established a conflict of interest, pointing out that pharmaceutical companies had sent principal investigators in several trials on “foreign trips and money was received (by doctors)”. Mint has reviewed a copy of the report.
The same month, a joint director in the state government submitted a second report advising the state government to initiate criminal proceedings against doctors for ignoring protocol.
The EOW report stated that 81 “serious adverse events” were reported in various clinical trials at Maharaja Yashwantrao Hospital.
Besides these cases, 1,833 children from the Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya (the paediatric hospital affiliated with MGM Medical College) and 233 mentally ill patients had been enrolled in clinical trials without any consent, according to documents submitted to the Supreme Court.
“As per government rules, guardians of mentally ill patients and children have to give an informed consent before they can enrol in trials,” said Nidhi of Swasthya Adhikar Manch, referring to the report.
In total, 12 doctors were named in the two reports. The EOW investigation listed Bharani (medicine), Salil Bhargava (superintendent), Ashoka Vajpayee (former superintendent), Pushpa Verma (dean), Hemant Jain (paediatrician) and Apoorv Puranik (neurologist), recommending that the Medical Council of India (MCI) initiate disciplinary action against them under Indian Council of Medical Research rules. Except for Verma, who maintained she was not involved in the drug trial controversy, none of the doctors were available for comment.
The “disciplinary measures”, including the Rs.5,000 fine, have to be compared with the Rs.5 crore that doctors earned for the trials, according to Swasthya Adhikar Manch’s PIL. Mint couldn’t independently verify this figure.
All but one of the doctors continue to practice medicine. Verma was promoted to the office of dean in January.
Over the past two years, victims and activists claim to have registered complaints at various forums, including the Central Vigilance Commission, EOW, the state police, the National Human Rights Commission, the medical education department, MCI, the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Drug Standard Control Organization. None of them seem to have had much effect.
Sarat Pandit, the joint director who submitted the 2011 report that recommends criminal proceedings against the doctors involved, blamed the delays on red tape and the involvement of too many government departments.
Victims languish
“Our mandate was to investigate the goings-on in Maharaja Yashwantrao Hospital and we did just that. Several irregularities in protocol and ethics were clearly established and we recommended action,” said Pandit. “The report is now lying with the government and it is up to them to act on it. The matter has now become sub judice. While several agencies are investigating the case, nothing is being done for the safety of people exposed to these doctors.”
There have been attempts to rally support for the victims. In January, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat sent a memorandum to then drug controller general of India, V.G. Somani, seeking action against the doctors.
“Families are upset and angry, and there is a clear groundswell. It is outrageous that Indians are being used as guinea pigs,” Karat said.
Mint has seen a copy of the letter.
The Madhya Pradesh state assembly has seen about 40 questions being asked in the past two years about trials, according to whistle-blower Rai.
“When RTI (Right to Information) replies were vague, we approached local politicians to raise the issue in the state assembly,” added Rai, who worked at Maharaja Yashwantrao Hospital and first exposed the trials. “Most of the information I have was collected by this route.”
The Union government has been trying to pursue the issue without much success.
“What happened in Indore was truly horrendous,” said Keshav Desiraju, additional secretary in the health ministry, who has been trying to get more information from the state government. “They have not responded to my queries.”
The parliamentary committee, which recently exposed the alleged nexus involving the drug regulator’s office, pharmaceutical companies and doctors, is to visit Indore to investigate the matter. Its report is expected to be tabled in the winter session of Parliament.
According to the health ministry, more than 1,500 people have died in clinical trials since 2008, a figure that’s contested by public health activists. According to documents presented in the Rajya Sabha, 2,163 people have died in India due to clinical trials since 2007.
“In Indore alone, trial subjects have died as recently as February, and this does not reflect in the government investigations. The whole subject is technical, and even when deaths occur during the trial, it is very difficult to attribute it directly to the drug tested. Several committees have pointed out that doctors do not maintain proper records of severe drug events,” added Nidhi of Swasthya Adhikar Manch.
No one has been compensated yet.
And what about those like Mehra, who participated in the clinical trial to obtain critical medication and then chose to be the whistle-blower?
“This is the cost of speaking up against doctors,” she said. “They have taken me off the company plan.”

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

Archives

Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists

JAPA- MUSICAL ACTIVISM

Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel

UID-UNIQUE ?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,228 other followers

Top Rated

Blog Stats

  • 1,846,114 hits

Archives

August 2021
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
%d bloggers like this: