Wednesday, January 4th 2012 - 05:52 UTC

GSK Argentina fined for experimenting vaccines in babies from poor families

GlaxoSmithKline Argentina Laboratories company was fined 400.000 Pesos (approx 90.000 dollars) by Judge Marcelo Aguinsky following a report issued by the National Administration of Medicine, Food and Technology (ANMAT) for the killing of 14 babies during illegal lab vaccine trials conducted between 2007 and 2008.

Likewise, two doctors, Héctor Abate, and Miguel Tregnaghi- were fined with 300.000 Pesos (approx 70.000 dollars) each for irregularities during the studies.

The charges included experimenting with human beings, falsifying parental authorizations so babies could participate in vaccine-trials conducted by the laboratory from 2007 to 2008.

Since 2007, 15.000 children under the age of one from Mendoza, San Juan and Santiago del Estero have been included in the research protocol, a statement of what the study is trying to achieve. Babies were recruited from poor families that attended to public hospitals.

A total of 7 babies died in Santiago del Estero; 5 in Mendoza; and 2 in San Juan.

Paediatrician Ana Marchese, who reported the case through the Argentine Federation of Health Professionals (FESPROSA), and was, working at the Eva Perón children's public hospital in Santiago del Estero when the studies were being conducted, said in a radio interview that “GSK Argentina set a protocol at the hospital, and recruited several doctors working there.”

“These doctors took advantage of many illiterate parents whom take their children for treatment by pressuring and forcing them into signing these 28-page consent forms and getting them involved in the trials.”

“Laboratories can't experiment in Europe or the United States, so they come to do it in third-world countries.“

Colombian and Panama were also chosen by GSK as staging grounds for trials of the vaccine against the pneumococcal bacteria.

Likewise, Marchese, explained the modus operandi: “Once a picked patient arrived, it would automatically disappear to be taken somewhere else in order to be treated by those doctors specially recruited by GSK. These kinds of practices are not legal and occurred without any type of state control, plus they don’t comply with minimum ethical requirements.”

Marchese also remembered that “laboratory trials on human beings are not legalized in Argentina.”

Furthermore, the pediatrician explained that “it is also known that in various particular cases, the doctors who had conducted the trials did not answer the calls made by the worried parents after witnessing their babies’ reactions to the vaccines.”

According to Marchese, “there already exist very good vaccines for the same diseases, but we all know how laboratories work, they only care for their own business.”

To end, Doctor Marchese aimed to Santiago del Estero Governor, Gerardo Zamora, who “never ever came out to stage to comment on the case, and same happened with national deputies and senators that didn’t even bother into discussing a hot topic that was echoed worldwide. I’m also ashamed of the scientific community that also kept its mouth shut.”

GlaxoSmithKline is a global pharmaceutical, biologics, vaccines and consumer healthcare company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's third-largest pharmaceutical company measured by revenues after Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer.

Ironically, if one visits GlaxoSmithKline Argentina web site it welcomes the reader with a company disclosure that says: “We have a challenging and inspiring mission to improve the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.”
 

11 comments Feed

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1 Yuleno (#) Jan 04th, 2012 - 10:35 am Report abuse
GSK

Our mission
We have a challenging and inspiring mission to improve the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.
Another transgression by a corporation with an ethics and governance department.But what exactly does it do.
2 GeoffWard2 (#) Jan 04th, 2012 - 01:15 pm Report abuse
“laboratory trials on human beings are not legal in Argentina.”

We have just seen Minc and the Brasilian authorities raise a R$10 billion public law suit against Chevron for 'environmental damage' of a tiny oil seep.

How come this flagrant exploitation of the poor people of Argentina and the abuse of South American children -
'experimenting with human beings, falsifying parental authorizations so babies could participate in vaccine-trials conducted by the laboratory' -
only rates a 400,000 pesos fine for GlaxoSmithKline, the giant multimational corporation?
3 ChrisR (#) Jan 04th, 2012 - 02:51 pm Report abuse
This is nothing short of infanticide and if the crime had been perpetrated in the UK the GSK Directors would have been prosecuted and rightly so.

What the judge was thinking of in fining GSK a similar amount as the doctors is beyond me.

Shameful episode.
4 Fido Dido (#) Jan 04th, 2012 - 05:55 pm Report abuse
another case of typical behavior of those transnational companies..“taking advantage of poor people, specially the ones that cannot read”. This is a disgrace, it's time that Latin American nations have a discussion of introducing the death penalty. Those two “doctors”, deserve the death penalty, what would improve their live. It is harsh, but this is the toughest way to make the “doctors” who those ideas in their sick mind, think more than once before they “experimate”.
5 Yuleno (#) Jan 04th, 2012 - 06:17 pm Report abuse
The problem here is twofold.The first is that this company should be punished in a way that would prevent it committing the same act again.The fine will be past on as a cost of research.Where is the clamour to control the openness of research from this incident.Is there any procedures to be implemented.No just a fine and probably compensation.
Secondly,the doctors show how greed and career are now the same thing.How could they be in a position to commit these offences.Is it because they are presented as a respectable group in society and therefore paid too much?Not enough for some of them and globally there are some who overvalue themselves.
6 Valle Ricardo (#) Jan 04th, 2012 - 10:10 pm Report abuse
Another issue is the pressure the “State” put on parents to have vaccines. If you disagree with a particular vaccine they will tell you it's the law! If you try to leave the country with a child who has not had what the “state” considers they should have had then they won't let you leave.
Libertad...Libertad...Libertad....
7 Wawa (#) Jan 07th, 2012 - 10:48 am Report abuse
Just to let you all know that there are tried and true homeopathic alternatives to the manufactured vaccines produced by profit making corporations. Be vigilant for your children and find a qualified homeopath/naturopath near you. Wisdom of the ages - gentle and kind to the developing immune systems of our children.
8 livin' in argentina (#) Jan 07th, 2012 - 12:59 pm Report abuse
But will they stamp the health book that your children have? I have 2 children and I have not followed what they tell me so far but continued with what I have read which is as close to the european/UK/US standard.
9 ChrisR (#) Jan 07th, 2012 - 02:06 pm Report abuse
7 Wawa

Fortunately, the EU have woken up to the fact that most of these 'quack' remedies have never been properly tested and now require them to be so tested.

Guess what, cries and howls from the homeopaths who do not want to do this on cost grounds and the laugable claim that these 'remedies' have been used for centuries.

When asked what the remedies consist of it turns out most of them are water! Nothing else!

Sharlatans jumps to mind. And if you doubt that, the idiotic Steve Jobs went down that route with his pancreatic cancer (the lesser, treatable sort if caught in time) and paid the ultimate penalty.

People like you who feed on the lack of knowledge of others to peddle this crap should be locked up for the good of society.
10 Wawa (#) Jan 08th, 2012 - 12:16 am Report abuse
I reckon 9ChrisR you should take heed of your own words and listen to what others say about this issue without launching into vicious and ignorant diatribe. We are commenting on the despicable experimentation on children of the third world for the benefit of us who are more fortunate. Direct your comments towards the corporations who profit from such practice!
11 ChrisR (#) Jan 08th, 2012 - 12:20 pm Report abuse
10 Wawa

NO, it is YOU who are attempting to mislead these people with you rediclous claim “that there are tried and true homeopathic alternatives to the manufactured vaccines produced by profit making corporations. Be vigilant for your children and find a qualified homeopath/naturopath near you. Wisdom of the ages - gentle and kind to the developing immune systems of our children”

IF SO WHY DON'T YOU ANSWER THE QUESTION POSTED BY 8 livin' in argentina “But will they stamp the health book that your children have?” BUT YOU CANNOT CAN YOU? AND THE REASON FOR THAT IS NONE OF THIS CRAP IS APPROVED AND NOT ONE 'POTION' YOU HAVE WILL TREAT PNEUMOCOCCAL BACTERIA.

I am your worst enemy! I know the truth about this rubbish of yours. I am fully aware of what I am commenting on, read my post @3: I have sent an email to the CEO of GSK Worldwide regarding this matter and I know he has read it and I am awaiting a formal reply.

I nearly lost my youngest son to blood poisoning due to his stupid girlfriend treating an infected wound on his foot with homeopathic rubbish. It was only when I visited them that I found out how close to danger he was in: it hospitalised him for four days AND he has never forgotten it.

So I don't need the likes of you to preach your imbecilic crap to me. Do you get it now you moron?

If this is not enough 'insults' for you I can do a whole lot better. Go and peddle your rubbish elswhere and leave the children alone.

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