Drug companies on trial

My latest New Matilda column is about Western multinational drug companies exploiting those in the developing world:

Globalisation has brought undoubted benefits to multinational drug companies. New and emerging markets have allowed a wider range of test subjects, many of whom are illiterate and desperate for money. A generally unregulated environment means companies can get away with not fully informing individuals about the possible risks of their drugs; they may not even know themselves.

Take the example of GlaxoSmithKline and allegations it tested a Hepatitis E drug on thousands of unsuspecting Nepalese soldiers after r esearchers sealed a deal with the Royal Nepalese Army. According to reports, the US Government was directly involved in the deal. Writing in the American Journal of Bioethics, author Jason Andrews claims that the US in all likelihood threatened the Nepalese Government to not resist GlaxoSmithKline’s program, or aid would be cut.… 

My New Matilda archive is here.