Dra. Ma de la Paz Mireles Vieyra
IBB Raúl Martín Cruz M.
Profesionales frente a la Infección VIH/SIDA
ANTIVIRALS AND HIV
THE SCIENTIFIC, IDEOLOGICAL AND COMMERCIAL FRAMEWORK
This essay presents a critical discussion of anti-ethical features of current controlled clinical tests, especially those conducted in Third World countries, with special emphasis on Phase III and IV studies.
The first section, The Scientific Context,briefly examines the history of these assays, the international normativity that governs their application today, and the fallacious attempt by pharmaceutical companies to achieve a veneer of scientific and ethical rigor by appearing to scrupulously respect the latest international theoretical developments in these areas. In reality, however, their practices systematically violate these dispositions.
Part two, The Ideological Framework, presents a detailed analysis of several historical initiatives that have been implemented throughout the world in efforts to ensure the ethical character of these tests. Based on a discussion of the infamous “Tuskegee experiment” and similar studies conducted by Joseph Mengele, it recapitulates the evolution of international normativity from the establishment of the 10 points of the Nuremberg Code up to the present day.
The discussion includes specific examples of how the most basic principles of medical ethics and existing normativities are continually violated in specific Third World countries –India is one example– as well as in entire regions, such as Continental Africa and Central and South America.
These practices severely damage the health and threaten the lives of people with minimum levels of wellbeing who are already the victims of multiple economic, structural and social hardships. The third section, The Commercial Milieu, focuses succinctly on the economic motivations that lie behind the aforementioned violations of medical ethics, and reveals a series of questionable procedures implemented by large pharmaceutical companies, such as their so-called “seeding” trials.
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