Glaxo Fined For Vaccine Trials in Argentina

Although vaccines can be effective in preventing illness and disease, they can also cause problems. Vaccines must be comprehensively tested before they are released. GlaxoSmithKline, a global pharmaceutical company, was recently fined for conducting clinical trials for a vaccine on infants that resulted in 14 deaths.

Between 2007 and 2008, 15,000 babies from poor, sometimes illiterate parents, were used by GlaxoSmithKline to test and research a vaccine for pneumococcal bacteria. This illegal practice resulted in 14 infant deaths and a hefty fine for GlaxoSmithKline Argentina Laboratories and two doctors who participated in the study.

Parents Didn’t Understand What They Were Signing

It is thought that the infants’ parents misunderstood what they were agreeing to. They were asked to sign long consent forms, which they may not have understood or been able to read. At times, doctors ignored some inquiries by parents worried about their children’s reactions to the vaccines. Allegedly, parents were required to keep their children in the clinical trials; if the parents withdrew their infants from the testing, they would no longer receive other valuable vaccines.

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