Nutrition and Healing
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  • Pfizer turns its back on alleged trial victim

    There should be a certain amount of trust involved when you enroll as a participant in a drug trial.

    I mean, a Big Pharma company is asking you to play guinea pig for an experimental drug. The least you’d expect is for them to support you if your symptoms become WORSE.

    Of course, this doesn’t mean I was surprised when I heard about the recent lawsuit brought against Big Pharma giant Pfizer.

    Back in the fall of 2009, a woman named Candace Stewart enrolled in a trial for the experimental osteoarthritis drug tranezumab. She left seven months later when she started experiencing pain in her hip and elbow.

    Just a few months after that, in June of 2010, Pfizer suspended all trials of the drug. Some patients were actually getting worse, to the point of having to have joint replacement surgery.

    By August, Candace, who was diagnosed with arthritis before the start of the trial, was walking with a cane after a diagnosis of osteonecrosis. She went to Pfizer, asking for help with payment for a medical evaluation and the necessary surgery. Of course, they said no.

    March 2011 rolled around and Candace had to have double hip replacement as well as other procedures. And that’s when she decided it was time to make Pfizer answer for the part she believed they played in her suffering.

    She filed a lawsuit against Pfizer, charging that the Big Pharma giant failed to adequately look into the reports of osteonecrosis in other trial participants and to adequately warn people of the risks involved with taking tanezumab. She’s also going after the physician and medical practice that courted her for enrollment in the trial.

    Pfizer is, of course, fighting it. But shouldn’t they have a responsibility to support the well being of people who enroll in a drug trial that could ultimately lead to a company raking in millions or even billions of dollars? Or are these human beings truly nothing more than disposable guinea pigs?

    I know I would think twice about enrolling in a clinical trial if I knew the REAL risks involved. No wonder Big Pharma companies have trouble finding people in the United States who are willing to subject themselves to these trials. Of course, then they just take their business to other countries, where they expect they won’t get caught when things go wrong.

    If they’re not going to do the right thing of their own accord, perhaps they should be forced to. If drug makers were held accountable for the potential side effects of their drugs, would we see fewer dangerous drugs actually make it to the market? Imagine what would happen if they truly had to weigh the possible risks versus rewards before subjecting human beings to their drug trials.

    Sources:
    “Woman Sues Pfizer For Alleged Injury In A Trial,” Pharmalot (pharmalot.com)

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