Experimenting on India

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Are US pharmaceutical companies using India’s poor as guinea pigs in sometimes deadly trials for new medicines?

A special investigation has found illiterate peasants have been given pills and injected with drugs without their informed consent, as clinical trials spread rapidly throughout the developing world.

Bhopal Hospital, built in the aftermath of the world’s worst industrial accident, has been the site of one trial. Residents thought they were being treated for the effects of the disaster.

Reporter Zeina Awad from Al Jazeera travels to Bhopal where locals say they had no idea they were part of a clinical trial. One Indian couple describe their daughter collapsing and dying after being given medication they knew little about.

Awad then grills corporate representatives and drug industry regulators in the US. The pharmaceutical companies remain tight lipped about their work, but the FBI has now launched an investigation into the pharmaceutical industry’s increasing reliance on overseas trials.

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