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VOA News Examines Ethics of Clinical Drug Testing in African Nations

August 18, 2011

VOA News examines the ethics of conducting clinical drug trials in developing countries, particularly in Africa. Several international ethical frameworks outline guidelines for clinical trials, "including the World Medical Association's Declaration of Helsinki and the WHO's Good Clinical Practice Guidelines," but they are not mandatory, the news service writes.

While "[s]ome drug companies say they do meet ethical standards ... [c]ritics point to controversies that they say involv[e] wealthy Western drug companies and poorly informed subjects," VOA News writes. But some advocates are urging African nations to implement more rigid policies and safeguards surrounding clinical drug testing, according to the news service (Ntaryike, 8/17).

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