Press Statement: Unethical Drug Testing on Bhopal Gas Victims

Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha
Children Against Dow Carbide
Bhopal Group for Information and Action

Press Statement – February 10, 2011

At a press conference today five organizations campaigning for justice in the case of the 1984 Union CarbideMr. Khan, drug trials victim, pictured with his wife disaster in Bhopal, India demanded immediate suspension of senior consultants of the Bhopal Memorial Hospital who are guilty of causing deaths of at least 10 gas victims by unethical drug trials. The organizations called for filing of criminal charges and initiating criminal investigations against the consultants for causing deaths of gas victims through unethical drug trials.

According to the information obtained by these organizations from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), New Delhi, among the 7 drug trials conducted on gas victims only one trial was monitored by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). As per published information three gas victims have died due to the trial of the drug Televancin on them, five have died due to the drug named Fondaparinux and two due to the drug called Tigecycline.

Documents obtained by these organizations through the Right to Information shows that the consultants ofBhopal Memorial Hospital (BMHRC) made over Rs. One Crores from the pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, Astra Zeneca and Sanofi whose drugs were tested on gas victims.

The organizations named Drs. S K Trivedi and H K Pande in the cardiology department and Dr Subodh Varshney in the Gastro Surgery department as the main culprits for these deaths caused by drug trials. They said the Institutional Review Board of BMHRC, whose Secretary is Dr. S K Trivedi’s wife, has approved these trials.

Presenting the medical records of one gas victim Mr. Nasir Khan who died at the young age of 34 years, the organizations said that the drug Clopidrogel was fatally tested on him along with another blood thinner, Aspirin by Dr. S K Trivedi in July 2010. The organizations pointed out that a study published in the prestigious medical journal Lancet in July 2004 reported that co-administration of Clopidrogel with Aspirin increases the chance of life threatening hemorrhage.

The organizations stated that the Madhya Pradesh government initiated an investigation on the unethical trials in BMHRC but the report of this investigation, supposed to be completed by September 2010, remains to be made public. The organizations apprehended that the findings of this investigation would be compromised given that investigator’s mother was given free surgical treatment by Dr. S K Trivedi.

Contacts:

Rashida Bi, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh
+91 94256 88215

Syed M Irfan, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha

Balkrishna Namdeo, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha
+91 98263 45423

Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra, Bhopal Group for Information and Action
+91 98261 67369

Safreen Khan, Children Against Dow Carbide
+91 9303831487

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