Pfizer and Nigerian Officials Both Charged
Most people here will know the wider background of the Trovan case as well as the fact that a recent ruling allows the Nigerian plaintiffs (or their survivors) to file suit in the United States. What had been less clear to me is that the charges brought concern both illicit behavior by Pfizer as well as complicity by some number of Nigerian officials.
I do not know whether it was alleged they were "on the take," but earlier studies suggest that pharma ranks number one in bribery used overseas. Braithewaite (1984) - certainly no radical - writes that "the pharmaceutical industry has a worse record of international bribery and corruption than any other industry." That may well be because that is the "way of doing business" in a number of such venues, as well as because of the sheer number of overseas clinical trials in which such a way would be relevant.
A colleague of mine who is an M.D., Ph.D. in pediatric infectious disease and director of IRBs at my university sent me a copy of the recent appelate court decision. The link is below.
In a recent thread the distinction was made between issues that concern industry insiders and those that concern patients. If an issue like this does not concern both groups - which, in reality, are the same - we are in deeper trouble than I thought.