Drug Trials Turn Deadly
March 28, 2006
Two clinical drug trials have had disastrous results for the participants, leaving a number of volunteers either dead or hospitalized.
Japanese drugmaker Eisal announced 11 patients died during a trial for Aricept, a cholinesterase inhibitor, which was being tested as a treatment for vascular dementia. None of the patients who received a placebo, rather than Aricept, suffered any ill effects.
6 Critically Ill
Six men also fell critically ill after a clinical trial of the anti-inflammatory drug TGN1412. Four of them are showing improvement, but two remain in critical condition.
The test marked the first time the drug had been given to human subjects, and the six volunteers it was administered to had to be admitted to intensive care almost immediately.
The Elephant ManAfter taking the drug, a once healthy 28-year-old man in critical condition has a face so swollen he looks like the "Elephant Man," according to a loved one. He participated in the trial, which paid $3,500, in order to pay bills.