The Null Device
Hard currency for human guinea pigs
What does a cash-strapped totalitarian regime do for money? Well, one option is to sell its citizens for medical research, as it's now revealed East Germany did in the 1980s
In another case, Annelise Lehrer, the widow of a former East German heart patient discovered that her husband Gerhard had been part of a batch of patients who were unwittingly subjected to testing for the blood pressure drug Ramipril, which was developed by the former Hoechst company in 1989.
Gerhard Lehrer died soon after his release from an East German hospital in 1989. His wife discovered that in keeping with Hoechst’s testing procedure, he had been part of a group which was given placebos and had received no treatment for his heart condition.
The makers of Tests and the Dead said they had identified the individuals who had organised drug tests for Hoechst in East Germany, but all of them had categorically refused to be interviewed.
Two thoughts: a) surely those involved can be prosecuted? And, b) I wonder which of the world's pharmaceutical companies are doing similar deals in, say, North Korea today.
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