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Pfizer tested unapproved drug on children: Report

Medical experts in Nigeria have faulted the Pfizer drug company for allegedly testing an unapproved drug on children, according to a local media report on Sunday.

india Updated: May 08, 2006 04:36 IST

Medical experts in Nigeria have faulted the Pfizer drug company for allegedly testing an unapproved drug on children, according to a local media report on Sunday. A Nigerian panel concluded that Pfizer Inc, the world's biggest drug company, violated international law during a 1996 epidemic by testing the drug on children with brain infections, The Washington Post reported.

Five children died after being treated with the experimental antibiotic and others showed signs of arthritis; there is no evidence the drug played a part. Six children died while taking a comparison drug, the Post reported.

The panel said Pfizer's experiment was "an illegal trial of an unregistered drug" and a "clear case of exploitation of the ignorant."

Although attorneys and the media have requested the Nigerian government's confidential report, it has not been released for five years.

The Post obtained a copy from a source who requested anonymity because of personal safety worries.

Pfizer executives said in a statement that it would be "inappropriate for the company to respond to specific points in the document.

First Published: May 08, 2006 04:36 IST