Nigerian officials are claiming pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc.'s used an unapproved drug on hundreds of children there during a 1996 clinical trial that lead to severe complications and death. The Nigerian state of Kano filed charges earlier this month on counts of criminal conspiracy and is seeking more than $2 billion from Pfizer.
The Washington Post reports that Nigerian officials are alleging that Pfizer conducted clinical trials on about 200 children and infants at a makeshift camp in Kano. The case claims that half of the children were given an untested antibiotic called Trovan and the other half received a low dose of a comparison drug. It also alleges that the tests killed several of the children and left others paralyzed, deaf, brain-damaged or blind. Pfizer contends that it did nothing wrong.
Pfizer, considered one of the biggest players in the drug industry, spent more than $12 million last year lobbying Congress. This year, the drug company is lobbying on issues including international drug testing.