India Healthcare
Two held for hiring women for clinical drug trials
Jun 17, 2011 - 11:20:53 AM

Two people working as brokers for a Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company were Friday arrested in Andhra Pradesh's Guntur district for engaging poor women for unauthorised drug trials, police said.

Kommu Karunamma and Shaikh Jameela were arrested from Piduguralla town, about 300 km from here, after 20 women took ill following clinical trials.

There are allegations that the company used poor and illiterate women as guinea pigs to test a drug to treat breast cancer.

The brokers were hiring gullible women and taking them to Hyderabad where their blood samples were taken and they were given injections and tablets. They were being paid around Rs.3,000 to Rs.10,000 for the trials conducted during last three months.

The issue came to light Thursday after some women, who had no idea what the company was testing on them, complained of severe body pain, joint pain and extreme weakness. A few of them had even difficulty walking. A local doctor told them they could have been tested for breast cancer drugs.

Six of the affected women were admitted to a government hospital in Guntur. District Medical and Health Officer M. Gopi Naik, who rushed to Piduguralla, said action would be taken against the company if it was found flouting the rules.

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