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'India not guinea pig for clinical trials'

The Health and Family Welfare Minister Ramadoss conveyed that India does not allow experimentation on humans.

india Updated: Jun 29, 2006 09:50 IST

Asserting India is "guarded" on issues related to clinical trials, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Anbumani Ramadoss has denied that the country has "opened out as a guinea pig".

"If you do clinical trials in India you have to be transparent. We are very, very guarded. We will not allow our population to suffer," Ramadoss told reporters at the Indian Embassy in Washington.

"We have laws and we are going to strengthen them," the visiting Minister said maintaining that India does not allow experimentation on humans and only Phase 2 of clinical trials were allowed with Phase 1 having to be in the country of origin.

The Minister held high level consultations at the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute, and also a meeting with the Pharmacy Association in Washington.

Ramadoss also visited the prestigious Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He noted that the John Hopkins facility in Baltimore and India have had a long history of association by way of student exchanges and faculty training.

Ramadoss is scheduled to have a meeting with Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt today to discuss issues related to health research with an accent on occupational and environmental health.

Ramadoss said a "lot of progress" has been made between the United States and India on different fronts especially in health care and vaccines since his visit in Washington last year.