Home > Uncategorized > Guinea-Pigs say thanks to Bangalore.

Guinea-Pigs say thanks to Bangalore.

Guinea-Pig relatively a new victim of Indian outsourcing industry. Guinea-Pigs were used in pharmaceutical labs for drug testing but they became unemployed when pharmaceutical companies discovered a new cheap species (Indian citizens) for their drug testing and outsourced their work to Bangalore.

  • Drug testing on human beings is US$1 billion-a-year industry in India.
  • Carrying out trials in India can cut costs by more than 55 percent.
  • Approximately 400 trials currently under way in India.
  • Two million Indians on clinical trials.
  • A volunteer earns anything between 3,000 to 4,000 rupees.

IT city Bangalore, known for its outsourcing industry, is home for many clinical research organizations (CROs). Many big hospitals are also contributing plenty of patients to the clinical trials done by these companies. Foreign firms are interested in conducting clinical trials in India due to the availability of patients, volunteers and cost-effectiveness. A volunteer earns anything between 3,000 to 4,000 rupees ($60-$80) based on the requirement of the study and could take part in three studies in a year.

Industry officials say it costs upwards of US$1 billion to make a new drug, with clinical trials accounting for almost two-thirds of the cost. Carrying out trials in India can cut costs by more than 55 percent.

Clinical trials on human beings is US$1 billion-a-year industry in India. According to the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, GlaxoSmithKline, the London-listed pharmaceutical giant, and Johnson & Johnson, its US-based peer, are the two leading groups engaged in testing new drugs in India, each conducting 22 trials over the past year. Approximately 400 trials currently under way in India.

BBC estimated two million patients in India on clinical trials. Reporter Paul Kenyon of BBC tracked down a drug trial being conducted for a major drug company in a psychiatric unit at a hospital in Gujurat. For each person enrolled, moreover, the hospital would receive 30,000 rupees (about $665).

Forty-nine babies have died in drug tests at one of India’s top hospitals, The victims were among the 4,142 infants who were used in a total of 42 clinical trials. The deaths occurred over a period of 30 months at the Delhi-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), an elite medical college and public hospital renowned for providing low-cost treatment to the poor.

Manish Tiwari, member of Congress party, which heads India’s coalition Government, said: “The practice of using infants like guinea-pigs for drug testing must end.”

Rahul Verma, of the Uday Foundation for Congenital Defects, said: “If you are rich in this country you go to a private doctor. You certainly don’t put your child up to be experimented on.”

A member of India’s Dalit, or untouchables, caste, Solanki has volunteered for about nine Phase I trials of new generic drugs since 2001. Now 24, he’s consumed pills for everything from heart problems to acid reflux in studies that involved X-rays, frequent blood tests and overnight stays. The most complicated trial paid 7,500 rupees ($150), a godsend in an area where farmers earn about 50 rupees ($1) a day. Solanki, who lives with his father and two brothers in a room the size of a single-car garage, said the companies are taking advantage of our economic condition. We give our bodies to them. He needs, but cannot afford, medications for liver and stomach problems. All he can do is sell his body to test drugs he does not need. Like Solanki about two million people in India working as a lab rat for clinical research organizations.

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