Nigeria Sues Pfizer Over Deadly Tests

$7B suit claims drug giant carried out disastrous trials on children
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2007 12:35 PM CDT
Nigeria Sues Pfizer Over Deadly Tests
The world headquarters of Pfizer Inc. is seen in New York in this April 12, 2005 file photo. Pfizer Chief Executive Jeffrey Kindler proved even those at the top aren't immune to an ongoing company-wide transformation late Sunday, May 20, 2007 in announcing the departure of Research and Development President...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Nigeria is suing pharma giant Pfizer for $7 billion, claiming the company carried out improper trials on children. 200 children in the state of Kano died, and others developed deformities, after Pfizer tested Trovan, an experimental antibiotic, during a 1996 meningitis outbreak. Nigeria claims the tests were unauthorized, but Pfizer insists the company had consent.

A number of individual families in Kano sued Pfizer after the deaths, but this is the first time Nigeria has filed; Kano is seeking a separate $2.7 billion. BBC analysts surmise that the incident increased Nigerian distrust of Western medicine, complicating the effort to vaccinate the population against polio, which has resurfaced there. (Read more Pfizer stories.)

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