Panel Faults Pfizer in '96 Clinical Trial In Nigeria
For all of you who thought after reading The Constant Gardener that there was no way it could actually happen in real life, please read the above-linked article from the Post.
If this happened in the US, Canada, or Europe, there would be universal outrage. It wouldn't have taken five years or more for this to have gotten to the national press. Pfizer would be the Enron of the pharma industry. But it didn't happen here. It happened in Africa, to poor black children in a country that most American schoolchildren wouldn't be able to find on a map (maybe most adults wouldn't be able to find it, either).
The West uses Africa as guinea pig in many ways, not only through pharmaceutical trials. Many development programs are also tests. I'm not sure what it is, what arrogance we have, that makes us think that it is ok to test our theories on the poor of Africa in ways that would never be acceptable here. Their deaths are such common news to us that we think of it as par for the course, and shrug off our part in the disaster.
We should be outraged with the behavior of Pfizer in Nigeria; not because they took advantage of poor, illiterate Africans, as the author of the article states, but because they took advantage of human beings. Of children.