By: Tiffany Walker
The drug trial that has left six hospitalized and one brain dead reminds us that medicine doesn’t come without a price. The drug trial was being conducted in northwestern France and was phase one of a clinical trial being conducted by Biotrial. The volunteers were given a drug intended to help health problems relating to neurodegenerative diseases. 90 out of the 128 volunteers were given the drug.
Experts have stated that incidents like this one are rare. Deaths or serious reactions during phase one of drug trials is very uncommon. Phase one of drug trials focuses specifically on the drug’s safety and the potential side effects. The men badly affected by the drug were ranging in age from 28 to 49 years old, and all were reported to be healthy individuals.
Following this “unprecedented incident”, as some have been calling it, Parisian prosecutors have begun an investigation into the causes of the ill turn of events. Particularly how could healthy men be so devastatingly affected by the drug? According to the drug company, the trial followed all of the guidelines set by international practices. Moreover, the drug had been administered before without any terrible reactions. The prosecutors are investigating whether or not missteps occurred in the drug trial that led to the men becoming dangerously ill. Moreover, the individual doctors on the trial will also be investigated for misconduct.
Drug trials seem to be common, relatively safe phenomena. However, an incident like this one should wake us up a bit. Testing new drugs of any kind is bound to have risks, maybe even life-altering risks. Unfortunately, drug trials are necessary for new medicines and treatments, but maybe there is more that can be done in order to better ensure a higher standard of safety in drug trials.