GSK gets bad press in U.S., Argentina

Families in Argentina are saying GlaxoSmithKline tricked them into participating in an experimental vaccine trial by telling them their children were receiving medical treatment, according to an ABC News exposé. One Argentine woman says the misleading information led to her infant's death. The study involves more than 13,000 children living in Argentina and has been set up to test GSK's pediatric pneumonia vaccine's efficacy. The experimental vaccine is called Synflorix, which is comparable to the Prevnar vaccine.

An increasing number of drug studies are happening in emerging markets in an attempt to cut costs. Some say the rationale also includes the fact that many patients in these poorer countries are not on any conflicting medications. Critics allege companies are conducting trials countries where there are fewer regulations to protect patients and few resources to enforce the regulations that are in place. To date, at least 12 babies have died in the GSK trial in Argentina over the last year.

- read the ABC News story
- here's the Pharmalot blog entry