The African continent has become a gigantic laboratory for the pharmaceutical industry. A reality that in recent weeks has reoccupied large headlines as a result of the negotiations that the Government of Nigeria maintains with Pfizer to settle old accounts of a few multinational clinical trials in 1996. The death of eleven Nigerian children and 181 cases of serious side effects, including irreversible brain damage, are attributed to these tests. By then, the largest pharmaceutical worldwide sent a group of doctors to Kano, a city in the North of the country, so that they testasen a new antibiotic indicated for meningitis and other infections. Experts from the company provided a drug called Trovan two hundreds of children with the promise that it would cure them. The failure of the experimental therapy did that the company had to dismantle your device just two weeks after arriving in the area without providing further explanations to the families of those affected. Physicians from the American company They rehearsed during those days with a type of antibiotic still in phase of study and without having passed previous tests. Nigeria, in the midst of an epidemic of meningitis and cholera which took the lives of more than 11,000 people, served as an excuse to put into practice an experiment, away from all ethics, in which genuine human guinea pigs were used.
The consciousness of one of those researchers, Juan Walterspiel, forced him to denounce what happened through a letter addressed to the maximum representative of the institution. The next day he was dismissed for reasons unrelated to his missive, according to official versions. Nearly 13 years later, Pfizer still does not assume its responsibilities and insists on his innocence. The legal battle between the multinational and the Nigerian Government has been prolonged for years unless you draw too many conclusions on clean. It is now when it could reach a final agreement between both parties, provided the settlement offered by the company in compensation is sufficient to mute the outrage of the victims.