Drug Testing in Nigeria Case
Pfizer should not undergo drug testing of Trovan in Nigeria because:
1) the motives and ethics of the testing are questionable and 2) neither Nigeria, Kano Hospital nor Pfizer are prepared for the implementation of tests. If the testing of Trovan is done hastily and sloppily, a public relations disaster and lawsuits could ensue, and Pfizer could lose a potentially lucrative pharmaceutical.
Pfizer deals in the business of lives, and when your business is centered on the most precious commodity in existence, there must be strict, unerring focus on morality and ethics. Claims that Pfizer is testing Trovan for the benefit of world health and to aid the ...view middle of the document...
It may be difficult to adhere to the GCP standards of informing children’s parents that their children “are part of a study of an unknown drug”, that there are “alternative treatments” (such as ceftriaxone) and that “their participation is voluntary.” The GCP’s ethical guidelines would be especially difficult to adhere to considering the limited amount of time doctors have to undergo testing. There is a large risk that doctors on tight deadlines will rush through and neglect ethical checklists.
Another moral issue is that conditions within the hospital are unsterile, making the clinical tests less credible. Pfizer may also need to displace patients from acceptable rooms into rooms with blood and fecal matter on the walls in Kano Hospital to make room for test subjects. Ethically, the hospital environment is not conducive to conducting an acceptable testing. It is possible that the standards are so poor that the FDA would not even accept the test.
People of Nigeria are often defined by statistics: only 29% of children are immunized and 8% of children do not reach the age of five. Buying into these statistics is an attempt to dissociate from Nigerians in the hope that it will rationalize testing on children in places like Kano Hospital. However, the fact remains: no matter how poor of a situation they are in, a Nigerian is a human test subject just as much as an American is. Pfizer executives cannot allow corporate greed to cause them to forget this fact and circumvent moral behavior.
If the massive potential for unethical behavior exacerbated by immense deadline pressures does not serve as deterrence from testing, the lack of organization in Kano Hospital should. The hospital Pfizer hopes to work in is “the worst hospital in the world” and the company has six weeks to implement a test that normally takes a year to plan. Nigeria itself is in complete disarray as religious wars and corrupt dictators ruin the country. Putting together a legitimate Institutional Review Board appears impossible, which serves as another reason to believe that the FDA will not accept the test if it is...