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Wikileaks: Has the pharmaceutical company Pfizer put pressure on the prosecutor to influence fines for the health consequences of a drug trial?
According to US diplomatic documents that the Wikileaks educational platform made available to the public, there were efforts by the pharmaceutical company "Pfizer" in Nigeria to influence administrative fines.
The papers report that Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company headquartered in New York, was trying to compromise Nigerian prosecutor Michael Aondoakaa. According to the documents published by Wikileaks, private investigators were hired to infer allegations of corruption against Aondoakaa. Corresponding articles were reportedly published in newspapers in February and March. Dr. Enrico Liggeri, the Pfizer manager in Nigeria.
The background is gifts from the antibiotic Trovan in the context of a clinical study in a meningococcal meningitis epidemic in 1996 in the province of Kano. About 200 children took part in the drug study. Around a hundred of the test subjects received the active ingredient Trovan, while the other half of the children received ceftriaxone. Five children died in the group that took Trovan. In addition, some children are said to have suffered massive health damage. Liggerie said that, in his view, the charges were strongly politically motivated, because the Doctors Without Borders organization administered Trovan to other children during the 1996 meningitis epidemic, and the Nigerian government did not take any action at the time.
According to the pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer, participation in the study at the time was voluntary and all details should have been explained to the parents in the locally spoken language "Hausa". The local authorities saw this differently and the result was a yearlong argument about whether the parents' consent had been obtained correctly. As a result, 13 years after the study, Pfizer had to pay a penalty of $ 75 million, from the $ 8 billion that has meanwhile been invested. (tf, December 11th, 2010)