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06 June 2007

Nigeria sues drug giant

The government of Nigeria is suing Pfizer, charging that the world's largest pharmaceutical company conducted improper trials of the anti-meningitis drug Trovan in children.

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The government of Nigeria is suing Pfizer, charging that the world's largest pharmaceutical company conducted improper trials of the anti-meningitis drug Trovan in children.

The Nigerian government wants $7 billion in damages for the families of children who allegedly died or suffered serious side effects after being given the experimental antibiotic, BBC News reported. A few years ago, the Nigerian state of Kano filed a separate lawsuit against Pfizer seeking $2.7 billion in damages. That suit is still working its way through the legal system.

Pfizer tested Trovan in children during a meningitis outbreak in Kano in 1996. About 200 children died and others suffered mental and physical problems. In its lawsuit, the Nigerian government says Trovan caused the deaths and injuries and that the children were injected with the drug without approval from the country's regulatory agencies, BBC News reported.

Pfizer has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing and says the trials were conducted with the full knowledge of the Nigerian government, according to Nigerian and international law.

In the United States, Trovan is approved to treat adults, but not children. – (HealthDayNews)

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June 2007

 
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