Originally published January 31 2012
GSK fined measly $90,000 by Argentine court for killing 14 babies in illegal vaccine trials; drug giant actually appealing
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) An Argentine court has fined drug monolith GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) a piddling $90,000 for conducting illegal vaccine trials on third-world babies between 2007 and 2008 that resulted in 14 of those babies being killed. GSK's shocking and utterly horrific crimes against humanity are topped only by its heartless appeal of the fine, which is the financial equivalent of a small slap on the wrist, and is hardly a proper punishment for crimes of this magnitude to begin with.
The Buenos Aires Herald (BAH) reports that a paper issued by the National Administration of Medicine, Food and Technology found GSK to be in violation of the law when it rounded up babies from around Argentina to participate in vaccine experiments that are illegal in both the US and Europe. GSK recruited doctors to lure in unsuspecting victims, who convinced parents of young children to sign consent forms that would bind them into complying with the entire experiment.
"These doctors took advantage of many illiterate parents whom (sic) take their children for treatment by pressuring and forcing them into signing these 28-page consent forms and getting them involved in the trials," said Ana Marchese, a pediatrician who worked at the Eva Peron Children's Public Hospital in Santiago del Estero during the trial period. Various doctors, including Hector Abate and Miguel Tregnaghi, both of which were also fined as part of the ruling, carried out the dirty work of GSK by deceiving trial patients.
"Laboratories can't experiment in Europe or the United States, so they come to do it in third-world countries," added Marchese. "These kind of practices are not legal and occurred without any type of state control, plus they don't comply with minimum ethical requirements."
Many of the babies involved with the trial, which was testing a pneumococcal bacteria vaccine, ended up experiencing severe adverse reactions, while others actually died. Doctors involved in the experiment reportedly did not answer requests from parents about the conditions of their children after receiving the vaccine.
Those parents that tried to withdraw their children from the trial while it was still taking place were threatened, according to Julieta Ovejero, a great aunt of one of the babies who died. Ovejero told BAH that all participants were told they would never receive another vaccine for their children again if they tried to leave the trial early.
Several years after this whole fiasco took place, a court in Argentina ruled against GSK with a small $90,000 fine, which is nothing for the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company. However, GSK denies any wrongdoing, or any connection between its vaccines and the child deaths, and is actually now appealing the fine in court.
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