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Over 2,600 'Human Guinea Pigs' May Have Died From Pharmaceutical Trials in India

Times of India reports on high cost of foreign pharmaceutical firms' drug trials in India

- Common Dreams staff

As many as 2,600 "human guinea pigs" died in the past seven years during drug trials by foreign pharmaceutical corporations, The Times of India reports on Thursday.

(Photo: adapted from Charles Williams/flickr) Trials for two drugs by pharma giants Bayer and Novartis "accounted for maximum number of deaths," they report.

"Serious adverse events of deaths during the clinical trials during the said period were 2,644, out of which 80 deaths were found to be attributable to the clinical trials," health secretary Keshav Desiraju said in an affidavit on behalf of the ministry of health and family welfare.

"Around 11,972 serious adverse events (excluding death) were reported during the period from January 1, 2005 to June 30, 2012, out of which 506 events were found to be related to clinical trials," he added.

According to the paper, trials of 475 drugs took place but only 17 of them were approved for marketing in India.