New Delhi, Oct. 8 (PTI): The Supreme Court today asked the Centre and various state governments to reply to an allegation that drug companies were using human beings as guinea pigs for clinical trials.
Justices R.M. Lodha and A.R. Dave also directed the Centre to give details of whether anyone had died because of such trials, possible side effects and if any compensation had been paid.
“We can even issue a one-line direction that all these clinical trials which affect many people must stop forthwith,” the bench said, though it did not order a blanket ban. “It must suffice, we are very serious about it.”
The directive came at a hearing of a petition by an NGO, Swasthya Adhikar Manch, which alleged that clinical trials were conducted on more than 3,300 patients, including those mentally ill and children, and over 1,500 died.
The court issued notices to the states and fixed the next hearing after eight weeks.