chapter  11
2 Pages

Drug testing in India


Almost all the hospitals chosen for clinical trials by LMN were in these semi-urban or rural areas, such as those in Bihar. While costs were lower across the board in India, costs and political access were even more favorable in these areas. For each person enrolled in the trial, the hospital would receive about USD 1,000 (equivalent of roughly 45,000 Indian rupees). The doctor conducting the trials was to receive compensation of about $5,000 a year (about 250,000 Indian rupees) and a one week all expenses paid vacation at a holiday resort in Hawaii if he/she was able to recruit at least 100 subjects for the trial. Patients enrolling in the trials received the drug free of cost. Also, the hospital would provide two free physicals to each patient every year for the duration of the trial. To abide by new rules enacted by the Government of India, LMN required all doctors conducting trials to inform patients of all possible side-effects of the drug. LMN also publicized on its webpage that it spared no efforts to be totally transparent about side-effects of the drugs being tested. Patients were asked to sign a 10-page document that outlined all the risks of taking part in the trial. Of course, as almost all the patients were illiterate they could not read what the document contained and relied on the doctor to explain it to them. In most cases, the patients were so eager to get enrolled in the trial, especially because of the free physicals, that they did not care about any negative side-effects of the drug.