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Clinical trial participants left to deal with side-effects alone

“Most affected are participants in HIV and Aids research as the aftermath of the trials may include resistance to medication thus leaving the participant in a worse off situation,” said Ames Dhai of the University of the Witwatersrand said.

“There should be post trial access which allows participants to have access to those developing an intervention so they help them deal with health problems arising after the trial.”

Dhai was speaking at the recent World Conference of Science Journalists 2011 in Doha recently.

A number of clinical trials on Aids vaccines have been held in African countries including Zimbabwe over the years.

Dhai said Africa must stop blaming the West for the trials that sometimes go wrong.

“We have the ethics but we are sometimes too relaxed when it comes to implementation and monitoring,” she said.

“Yes, we want the interventions and will be happy with an HIV and Aids cure for example but let that not overshadow the need for justice.
“We must always think about what is going to happen to the participant after the trial.”

Some estimates say the global market for pharmaceuticals will reach US$1,1 trillion by 2014.

The randomised, controlled clinical trials is the gold standard in medical research but recruiting research subjects for those trials is one of the most expensive aspects of drug development.

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