Malayali Students being Used as Guinea Pigs for Drug Trials
By Sankar C G | Published: 03rd May 2014 09:30 AM |
Even though illegal trials of drugs on humans are prohibited by the Supreme Court, a mafia centred around Mangalore is luring students, especially Malayalis, to pop experimental drugs by offering large sums of money.
The mafia offers `10,000 to `20,000 for each student ready to undergo this trial which lasts for 48 to 72 hours.
The mafia uses mediators to canvass poor students who normally fall to the lure of easy money. Renowned hospitals in Mangalore are the platforms for these trials.
‘Express’ spoke to three students who had undergone such trials and five other people who were lured by the mafia while studying in Mangalore.
“It was one of my friends who told me about this drug trial while I was studying in Mangalore University. Being a student, earning `7,000 in a day was so great and I attended the study,” said Satheesh (name changed).
He also said that all they needed was his presence and also asked to sign an agreement which admitted his willingness for the study with the consent of his parents. “I underwent the trial at Attavar KMC Hospital. These kinds of trials are taking place in several hospitals in Mangalore,” Satheesh said.
This reporter contacted Attavar KMC Hospital in Mangalore under the guise of somebody who is willing to undergo trial.
The receptionist there provided the number of a person for getting the details of drug trials. His name was Santhosh and he introduced himself as the coordinating assistant of the study and said, “Two drug trials, one on chlorpromazine and the other on Cinacalcet, will be taking place this week and each person will get a remuneration of `12,000 for undergoing a trial.”
He also said that prior to undergoing this study one must attend the screening test to prove that he is healthy. “If we are satisfied, you can undergo the trial. We will administer a drug and will assess its reaction in your body by collecting and examining blood samples from your body during intermittent intervals.
If there is any negative reaction in your body, the study will be considered unsuccessful. You will have the care of many doctors throughout the study.”
However, the manager of Attavar Hospital denied it and said, “No such trials are taking place here and it is wrong information. You might have spoken to some wrong person,” said Jayaram, manager of Attavar Hospital.
When contacted, P Hariprasad, the Drug Controller of Kerala said, “Experimenting drugs can be done only on patients, that too only with their consent and it has to be monitored strictly. Luring students with exciting offers for undergoing drug trials cannot be accepted and it must be curbed.”
He also said it being an interstate issue, the Central Drugs Controller must intervene in it.