Nigerian Government Sues Pfizer Over Trovan Clinical Trials

The State of Kano, Nigeria is suing Pfizer over the way that clinical trials of its meningitis treatment, Trovan, were handled.  The hearing is set for June 4. More from An excerpt:

The state's Director of Public Prosecutions filed a eight-count charge before a Kano High Court. The accused are Pfizer, its Nigerian subsidiary and eight individuals who worked for the companies at the time.

The case has been fixed for hearing on June 4. In a separate suit, the state's Attorney General also filed a civil suit seeking $2.075 billion in damages from Pfizer.

But the earlier charge stated that "The accused persons caused an untested and unregistered drug to be administered on about 200 patients without an informed consent from parents before administering.

It added that the accused persons had acted in a "rash and negligent manner. The acts of the accused persons endangered human lives by causing side-effects (such) as deafness, muteness, paralysis, brain damage, loss of sight, flawed speech and even death," the document added in a "summary of evidence."

Kano Officials have alleged for years that Pfizer's actions resulted in the deaths of some of the children and left others with permanent health problems.

The state government alleges Pfizer selected children and infants from crowds at a makeshift epidemic camp and gave about half of the group Trovan, which it says was untested at the time. The Washington Post had reported last year that a Kano government inquiry had found the trials illegal.  Here was Pfizer's response to that report: