The Peach

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Monday, January 10, 2005

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

An article from the AP is reporting that government scientists collected millions of dollars in royalties from experimental drugs while not telling patients testing the drugs that researchers had a financial interest. What is even more distressing is that the NIH did not make a policy that researchers supply such disclosures until last week, leaving thousands of patients unaware that they may have been taking part in an experiment in which scientists may have been financially motivated.

The Peach feels that this disclosure has come about due to the increasing controvery surrounding the flawed AIDS drug nevirapine, and the NIH's attempt to hide the truth about the drug's shortcomings. This drug has already been distributed to hundreds of thousands of AIDS victims in Africa. Just recently it was reported that a Tennessee woman died over a year ago from the then experimental drug, and scientists and doctors connected to the experiment lied about the cause of death. The woman's family is now suing.

In an act of courage Dr. Jonathan Fishbein spoke out against the methods and policies at the NIH and was subsequently fired for his honesty. The Peach hopes that his spark encourages further investigations into the NIH and drug industry so that we can all feel safer.

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