Pfizer drug trial victims start to receive compensation
People in Nigeria have started to receive long-awaited compensation payments from Pfizer after a botched drug trial.
Eleven children died and dozens more developed disabilities during a 1996 trial of an experimental drug treatment for meningitis.
Four families have received $175,000 in the first batch of payouts after they obtained DNA evidence their children’s deaths were caused from the trial.
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However, the company has been criticised for only compensating four families in the initial round of payouts despite 200 children taking part in the trial.
The money for the compensation has come from a $35 million fund created as part of the settlement between Pfizer and the northern Kano state in Nigeria where the trial took place.
As part of the settlement Pfizer has also agreed to fund health projects in the Kano region.
However, the company is still insistent the deaths were caused by meningitis and not the drugs it was testing.
In a statement the pharmaceutical company said: “This is the first step in a multi-phase review process by which the independent board of trustees that manages the fund will deliver payment to all other qualified claimants.
“We thank them for their commitment and dedication to seeing this process through in the most timely and transparent way possible.”