Volunteers sign up for drug trials by the thousands every year. Whether college students need a bit of extra money or patients are hoping for a cure, there are a variety of reasons why people are willing to risk their health. Unfortunately, five people in France did more than just risk their health when they took part in the trial for an experimental painkiller.
One person was killed and five others were hospitalized, allegedly as a result of the drug manufactured by Bial, a pharmaceutical company in Portugal. The six were among 128 people who volunteered to take part in the study.
The company’s drug was touted as a treatment for anxiety and motor disorders. The drug’s target is the endogenous cannabinoid system. This part of the body is one that controls pain. The drug was administered at a private medical center in France and supervised by doctors.
An investigation conducted into the death and injuries determined that the medical facility ran the trial appropriately. They also found that Bial and Biotrial, the company running the trial, were at fault. According to the report, fault included the drug’s dosage to volunteers, the length of time it took to inform the government of the issues, and a failure to properly inform other volunteers of the issues.
Authorities have given both companies a month to get everything fixed and into compliance. If the companies fail to do this, the trial will be suspended. The report also made it clear to the companies and the public that there may be a separate judicial inquiry into the trial, the injuries and the death.
Many people understand that there are dangerous drugs in North Carolina. Unfortunately, not all of these drugs are sold on the street corner. Always be mindful of signing up for any type of clinical trial. Even though this event occurred overseas, it could happen here. There are safer ways to make money and, if you are a patient hoping for a cure, you should always speak with your primary physician before volunteering for a trial.
If you have been injured by a drug in North Carolina, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. Call our office today for a free case evaluation. We will advise you of your options and help you take the next steps.