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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Drug trials on patients: ED probe yet to gain momentum

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Indore, May 10, 2013
First Published: 20:56 IST(10/5/2013) | Last Updated: 20:57 IST(10/5/2013)

Directorate of enforcement (ED) is probing whether the pharmaceutical companies paid money to 11 doctors in India for conducting drug trials or whether they were also paid money when they went abroad.

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Once ED gets evidence, it will start a full investigation. The directorate has sought details from the state government in this regard.

As reported earlier, ED has begun preliminary inquiry against Indore's 11 doctors who conducted drug trials on patients without taking their consent or without taking them into confidence.

The inquiry is being conducted under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) provisions as preliminary evidences show that these doctors visited foreign countries with the money provided by companies whose drugs were tried on patients.

"Inquiry is still on in this connection. At this stage, we cannot disclose more than this," ED joint director JP Singh said over phone from Ahemdabad.

The preliminary inquiry began after receiving inputs from state government, Medical Council of India about the procedure of conducting drug trials and what penal norms existed for breaches.

Initially, ED explored possibility of booking the doctors under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Since there has been no FIR registered with police or Lokayukta, which showed financial sleaze, ED held back PMLA action against them.

Directorate officials said that ED initially began probe against eight doctors but after receiving state government report, three more doctors were added to the list against whom inquiry was initiated.

As HT reported last year, state health department had sought information from 40 private practitioners and 18 hospitals in the city after the question regarding drug trials practices of the private practitioners was raised in the Madhya Pradesh assembly. Nearly, 79 doctors were found to have flouted rules under the Nursing Association and Clinical Establishment Act.


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