The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Friday slammed the health ministry and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for the loss of hundreds of lives, allegedly because of drug trials in the country.
Taking suo moto cognisance of a media report alleging that 1,725 people have lost their lives to drug trials in the last four years, the commission issued notices to the health secretary, ICMR secretary, and the Drug Controller General of India and asked them to submit their comments in the matter within four weeks.
In a statement, the commission said: ‘Allegedly, there has been evidence of weak monitoring of requests of the companies approaching the Drug Controller… it seems that many of the drugs tested are not even of specific relevance to the country’.
The commission also sought information if there is any uniform policy of compensating the victims.
‘A notice has also been sent to the Centre for Studies in Ethics and Rights, Anusandhan Trust, Mumbai seeking its comments within four weeks on the subject,’ it said.
The commission has also decided to take up the case of six women, who allegedly became victims of an unauthorised drug trials in Andhra Pradesh.