RTI reply: Large number of people dying because of drug trials
An application was filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get the details about the number of people who died due to drug trials in Rajasthan. The reply to the application states that 40 persons died during the period from 2008 to 2011 during clinical trials in Rajasthan. It also states that only eight hospitals were involved in such trial, two of them being government hospitals. The reply also showed that 27 out of 40 deaths occurred in private hospitals.
The reply from the office of drug controller general, Ministry of family health and welfare showed that of all the patients who died during the clinical trials, 21 were suffering from cancer, 12 from heart ailments and five were undergoing gastro treatment.
In a counter affidavit filed by the state government in relation to a PIL, the government has accepted the large number of deaths during drug trials putting the number at 95 for the period 2005 to 2012. The state government stated that its involvement in such cases should be more than merely defining the guidelines. It said in the affidavit that the decision to pay compensation has been taken in four cases and the concerned families have been actually compensated.