RTI reveals over 2000 deaths in drugs trials in the country
According to data provided by Drug Controller General of India (DGCI), a number of drug trials spread across a number of centres and involving a number of patients was done all over the country. During the years 2008-11:
- The total number of clinical trials registered was 2376.
- 2031 patients lost their lives as a result of clinical trials of various drugs.
These deaths could be:
- disease-related deaths like cancer etc., or
- administration to critical or terminally-ill patients, or
- side effects, or
- unrelated causes.
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the DGCI that collation of data for clinical trials should be done on monthly basis. According to a reply provided to a question to the Lok Sabha, the number of clinical trials registered with the Clinical Trials Registry India (CTRI) at Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) site during the last three years viz. 2009, 2010 and 2011 and the current year so far is 548, 806, 815 and 207 respectively. The deaths in clinical trials reported during the last four year viz. 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 were 288, 637, 668 and 438 respectively, as per the reply provided by the DGCI.
There have been reports of unregulated drug trials in the country where the citizens have been used as guinea-pigs. Will the truth ever come out?