Pfizer Charged in Nigerian Children's Deaths
Nigerian officials have brought criminal charges against drug maker Pfizer Inc., the world's largest drug company, alleging the company's involvement in distributing an untested antibiotic, Trovan, during a meningitis outbreak in 1996. They have also filed a civil lawsuit seeking damages and restitution in the amount of 2 billion dollars.
200 children and infants were selected from a camp in the state of Kano, with half of the children given the untested antibiotic. The Nigerian government alleges the rest were given a low dose of a comparative drug made by Hoffman–La Roche.
The lawsuit states researchers did not obtain consent from the parents of the children and they were banned from the ward where the drugs were given. Nigerian officials say Pfizer's actions have resulted in unspecified deaths, with the surviving children, as a result of the drug, left deaf, paralyzed, blind or brain damaged.
Former Kano attorney general, Aliyu Umar has filed the charges with the support of federal and state authorities.
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