Putting Contract Research Organisations on the Radar

It is a trend for pharmaceutical companies to contract third parties to conduct their clinical trials in order to test their drugs. This trend is referred to as ‘outsourcing’, and the companies that carry out the work are called ‘contract research organizations’ (CROs). In addition, clinical trials are increasingly conducted in non-traditional trial regions, which are mainly low- and middle-income countries. This trend is called ‘offshoring’. It is widely agreed that the offshoring of clinical trials to these regions should be scrutinized from an ethical perspective because of the vulnerability of the trial population. What happens when offshoring is combined with outsourcing? Do additional ethical risks arise when clinical trials are contracted out? Virtually all pharmaceutical companies publicly declare that they test their drugs in accordance with the highest ethical guidelines, such as the Declaration of Helsinki. But how do pharmaceutical companies safeguard their commitments when they outsource clinical trial activities to CROs in poor regions? These are the central questions that are addressed in this report.

Briefng paper: Protection of Clinical Trial Participants in Countries Outside the EU

Medicines intended for the European market are increasingly tested on clinical trial participants outside the EU in low and middle income countries. Over the past years, SOMO and Wemos have collected extensive evidence of violations of ethical principles and guidelines in such trials. In this briefng paper, SOMO and Wemos provide the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) with policy recommendations to take their responsibility and address this problem.

Big Pharma ‘overcharging’ poor countries for child vaccines – report

Doctors Without Borders has released a new report blasting two top pharmaceutical companies for inflated costs of vital vaccines that have proved too steep for poor nations, recommending they adjust prices in order to save lives. The charity, Doctors Without Borders, or Medecins Sans Frontieres, has called on GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer to drop the price of the pneumococcal vaccine to $5 per child in the most impoverished countries.

Experimenting on the Third World

Clinical trials that test medicines for use in the European Union (EU) increasingly take place in low and middle income countries. Most trial participants in these countries are poor, have limited access to health care and have low medical literacy, all factors that limit their autonomy to participate in the clinical trial. Unfortunately, the bodies responsible for protecting the rights and safety of these vulnerable partici­pants, such as national drug regulatory authorities and ethics committees, often do not function properly.

Buying a piece of anthropology Part 1: Human Ecology and unwitting anthropological research for the CIA

Although we routinely acknowledge the impact of colonialism on the history of our discipline, we seem to have a blind spot when it comes to the specific ways in which more recent interests of military and intelligence agencies intersect with anthropologists and their research. However, given current efforts to engage anthropologists in military and intelligence campaigns, we can no longer feign ignorance.

Alfred Kinsey: Government Funded Perverted Pedophile

The Kinsey Syndrome is a powerful documentary that unfolds the life and influence of Dr. Alfred Kinsey, considered to be the father of the sexual revolution. But did Kinsey liberate America from its prudish view of sex? Or help to unleash the horrors of our present society? This documentary shows how The Kinsey Reports of the 1940's and 50's have been used through the 20th and 21st century to change laws concerning sex crimes in America, removing protection from America's women and children. Further explained is that the Kinsey data laid the foundation for sex education -- training teachers, psychologists and even Catholic priests in human sexuality. What has been the consequence for society? And what was Kinsey's research really based upon?