The headline for this entry was the title of a lovely piece of news that I ran across the other day. Here are some quotes from the article:
The study was sponsored by global drug giant GlaxoSmithKline and uses children from poor families, who are "pressured and forced into signing consent forms," the Argentine Federation of Health Professionals, or Fesprosa, said.
Since 2007, 15,000 children under the age of one from the Argentine provinces of Mendoza, San Juan and Santiago del Estero have been included in the research protocol, a statement of what the study is trying to achieve.
"Only 12 have died throughout the country, which is a very low figure if we compare it with the deaths produced by respiratory illnesses caused by the pneumococcal bacteria," pediatrician Enrique Smith, one of the lead investigators, said.
I love that last quote, and statistically speaking it’s very true - 12 dead babies out of 15,000 is less than 1/10 of one percent - but I wonder if that number seems “low” to the parents of one of the 12 dead babies that died as a result of being used as a human lab rat? And I wonder how many would have to die before the number would seem “excessive?”
How many other pharmaceutical companies are currently conducting human drug trials? How many total drugs are there in these trials? How many other people have died in these “other” trials, and, if we counted all of the dead together in one statistic, would that number seem excessive?
We’ll never know. Here’s what we do know however:
* “For-profit” companies are conducting drug trials with poor people from other countries.
* Some deaths are expected, and indeed, acceptable.
* The Nazis used to conduct testing on humans too (but that was different, right?)
* No animals were injured during these drug tests.
Oh, and there’s one other thing we know. We know where this news story was originally reported; on a stock market investment site. That’s right, this article wasn’t printed to inform the public at large of a travesty being committed by yet another global corporation trying to hit its quarterly revenue targets, it was printed to give investors the information they need to decide whether to “buy” or “sell”.
And that may be the most obscene thing about it.
You can read the entire article here; it is, of course, not very long: http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/1750553/
(If link does not work, type “12 Babies Die During Vaccine Trials in Argentina” into your search engine.)