Adriana Petryna gives us insight into her in-depth research of how clinical trials are being accomplished. In order for the pharmaceutical companies to get FDA approval for their new drugs, which are not so different from what is already in the market, they set up phase 3 trials in regions such as Eastern Europe and South America. This brings many issues. The pharmaceutical companies outsource to contract research organizations for more efficient and cost-effective evidence making.
This phenomenon leaves those subjects vulnerable, because the state governments within those regions attempt to attract mass trials, and in doing so they can fund their own under-financed scientific research. Those subjects are no longer the primary interest. They do get benefit from receiving trial drugs, but the companies can withdraw their research, which means the medical conditions will not be taken care of, lowering their survival rates within a certain time period. Not only is that unethical, but also because those trials were not conducted as a long term observation, there may be unseen long-term side effects which may be deleterious on the patients’ part. What is more, just because a certain drug works on those patients, it does not guarantee that it will work on the patients in Western Europe and North America. In fact, Petryna raises the subjects, who would produce the best results are hand-picked before the trials, which means the integrity of blinding any bias by randomized trials is no longer effective.
Generally, the pharmaceutical companies are being short-sighted, and the consequences will be adverse in long term; even those CEO’s of the pharmaceutical companies may be given an ineffective drug when they are hospitalized.