NEW DELHI: Just days after news broke of 49 babies dying during clinical trials at AIIMS, Times Now has managed to get the Right to Information (RTI) report that makes a shocking revelation. Two of the four drugs tried on the babies were meant only for adults and not for children below 18. ( Watch )
AIIMS, one of India's premier hospitals, now is in the eye of a storm after news that 49 babies died during clinical trials. The shocking RTI pointed out that that babies who died were administered medicines that were not meant for children below 18.
Expressing shock at the incident, Dr CM Gulhati, Editor of Civil Society journal, Monthly Index of Medical Specialties said, "What is horrifying in the report that has come out of the RTI is that these tests were done from 1 year to 16 years and otherwise there was no division or sub division. It was not that it was tried from 12 to 16 and then you wait for 2 to 3 years and therefore small children over the age of 1 year but below the age of 16 years are all used as guinea pigs - this is the most serious problem with the tests."
So far, AIIMS has remained silent on this controversy but late Saturday night Veena Kalra, the head of the pediatrics ward did admit that some of the babies may have died during to the trials.
This revelation raises a number of questions about how was the hospital given permission to conduct trials of drugs meant for adults on babies. Were these children made guinea pigs because they were from poor families?
Rahul Verma, who had filed for a RTI report said, "We are approaching National Human Rights Commission because now we feel that if we go by the former head of the department Veena Kalra by her statement that she gave to a certain newspaper that yes some of these were poor families and died because of clinical trials - its strictly violation of article 21 - the fundamental right to life.
This RTI has opened up a Pandora's Box when it comes to how easy it is to get clinical trials conducted in India and with the matter being taken to National Human Rights Commission, AIIMS the premier medical institute has a lot of answering to do.
6 months ago