Thursday, October 23, 2008

Meningitis Drug Trial Kills 11 Children

Chloramphenicol is an antibiotic that has been internationally recommended for the treatment of meningitis.

However, Pfizer’s treatment of scores of children by a drug called Trovan during an epidemic in Nigeria resulted in a lawsuit against Pfizer. A lawsuit filed in the United States district court in Manhattan sought unspecified damages on behalf of 30 children who participated in a drug trial in Kano, in northern Nigeria. Pfizer Inc. conducted the drug trial in 1996 during a meningitis epidemic. It was reported that 11 children died during the trial and many others suffered brain damage, partial paralysis, and deafness.

What were the supporting arguments of the lawsuit?
• Pfizer took advantage of the chaos prevailing during the civil and medical crises in Kano to quickly conduct a test of the potentially dangerous antibiotic drug Trovan on young children.
• Rather than providing the children with an effective and proven therapy, Pfizer chose children without their prior consent to participate in an experiment with an unproven and untested drug.

What were Pfizer’s defense arguments?
• The Trovan study in Kano was an important investigation in the midst of a deadly meningococcal meningitis epidemic.
• Pfizer conducted the trials with the approval of the Nigerian federal and state governments and with the consent of the families of the patients.

Meningitis doesn't discriminate. Unfortunately, doctors misdiagnose meningitis which make be considered medical malpractice. Has your child or a family member been misdiagnosed and suffered serious or fatal consequences?

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