Clinical Drug Trials: Doctors' role under scanner in Madhya Pradesh

The role of a number of doctors in Madhya Pradesh has come under scanner for testing drugs on patients as part of Multi National Companies' (MNCs) clinical drug trials.

The strength and effects of the medicines were tested on poor patients without their consent and knowledge. In Indore and Bhopal, doctors in many private and government hospitals conducted these trials that are illegal and unethical.

Drug manufacturers who don't easily get consenting patients and volunteers in other countries are offering huge sums to the doctors in India. As a result patients who are unaware fell victim to these nefarious designs and often suffer horrifiying medical complications that can even lead to deaths.

A complaint has been made against six doctors in Indore. NGO Swasth Samarthan Sewa Samiti has lodged its complaint with the government. But the number of doctors involved in the unethical practice is estimated to number around 100.

The doctors have been getting crores for such trials and the money is deposited directly in their accounts. It is not known how many children and under-age persons have been put to such tests and the after-effects of such trials on them.

Now the issue has reached the police. The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and Lokayukta are now initiating inquiry. Some MLAs have also raised the issue in the current Assembly session  but the real question is whether the guilty would be punished?

Indore's Maharaja Yashwant Rao (MY) Hospital is at the centre of the controversy as most trials have been conducted in this hospital which is attached to the MGM medical college. There are reports from other colleges and hospitals in MP also.

Doctors who have brought bad name to the noble profession and compromised on the health of patients, including vulnerable children, must not be allowed to go unpunished for violating government guidelines and keeping everybody in dark to mint money.

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