What the papers say: Botched drug trial report under fire

Last week’s publication of the official report into the ‘elephant man’ drug trial brought scant comfort to Parexel, the organisation behind the ‘disastrous’ (The Guardian, 26 May) testing of drug TGN1412.

It found that the negative effects of the drug, which left six adults with multiple organ failure and swelling, were down to an unexpected biological reaction rather than an error by Parexel.

It criticised sloppy administration, a lack of staff training, inadequate insurance cover and a delay in appropriate counter treatment.

Damming, but not enough for the claimants’ solicitors, who branded the investigation a sham. Claimed the next day’s headlines: ‘Victims’ fury over elephant drug “whitewash”’ (Daily Mirror, 26 May); ‘Drug test review is “whitewash”’ (The Daily Telegraph, 26 May).

The investigation had been carried out by drug industry watchdog the MHRA, with inevitable questions over its impartiality. ‘Today’s report is inadequate and completely misses the point’ was an independent drug expert’s view (bbc.co.uk, 25 May).

With calls for an independent review, the effects of this trial will be felt by victims and industry for some time.
Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.com

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