U.S. drug maker did not properly obtain consent from families while testing an experimental drug on their children
By BASHIR ADIGUN
Associated Press Writer
ABUJA, Nigeria - Government lawyers filed a new $7 billion civil lawsuit Friday against Pfizer Inc., adding a more serious fraud charge to their allegations that the U.S. drug maker did not properly obtain consent from families while testing an experimental drug on their children.
The government has accused Pfizer of taking advantage of a 1996 meningitis epidemic to test an experimental drug without authorization or the full understanding of the families involved — allegedly contributing to the deaths of some of the children and sickening others. Pfizer denies wrongdoing.
Pfizer treated 100 meningitis-infected children with an experimental antibiotic, Trovan. Another 100 children, who were control patients in the study, received an approved antibiotic, ceftriaxone — but the dose was lower than recommended, the families' lawyers alleged.
Eleven children died — five of those on Trovan and six in the control group, while others suffered physical disabilities and brain damage. Pfizer has always insisted its records show none of the deaths was linked to Trovan or substandard treatment, noting that the study showed a better survival rate for the patients on Trovan than those on the standard drug. Meningitis survivors sometimes sustain brain damage or other complications from the disease.
See Complete Article: Nigeria says Pfizer did not obtain family consent for experiments