Jump to content

BBC Reveals NYC Tests HIV Drugs on Kids

Lounge   (5,303 Views 61 Comments)
30,303 Visitors; 8,859 Posts
If you find this topic helpful leave a comment.

http://www.democracynow.org/print.pl?sid=04/12/03/1450257

BBC Reveals NYC Tests HIV Drugs on Kids

A nine-month-long BBC investigation has revealed that the city of New York has been forcing HIV positive children under its supervision to be used as human guinea pigs in tests for experimental HIV drug trials, in some cases against their will. All of the children in the program are under the legal guidance of the city's child welfare department, the Administration for Children's Services. Most were living either in foster care or independent homes run on behalf of the local authorities, Almost all the children are believed to be African-American or Latino.

One New York social worker told the BBC she had never been informed that the drugs she was administering to children were experimental and highly toxic. Jacklyn Hoerger said, "We were told that if they were vomiting, if they lost their ability to walk, if they were having diarrhea, if they were dying, then all of this was because of their HIV infection."

In fact it was the drugs that were causing many of the problems. The BBC identified pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline as one of the companies that provided drugs for the tests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If this is true, this is a crime! These children have lost all rights due to the fact they are unwanted ????? Does not surprise me a large drug company is involved either...JUST TYPICAL!!!!!!!!!:angryfire

http://www.democracynow.org/print.pl?sid=04/12/03/1450257

BBC Reveals NYC Tests HIV Drugs on Kids

A nine-month-long BBC investigation has revealed that the city of New York has been forcing HIV positive children under its supervision to be used as human guinea pigs in tests for experimental HIV drug trials, in some cases against their will. All of the children in the program are under the legal guidance of the city's child welfare department, the Administration for Children's Services. Most were living either in foster care or independent homes run on behalf of the local authorities, Almost all the children are believed to be African-American or Latino.

One New York social worker told the BBC she had never been informed that the drugs she was administering to children were experimental and highly toxic. Jacklyn Hoerger said, "We were told that if they were vomiting, if they lost their ability to walk, if they were having diarrhea, if they were dying, then all of this was because of their HIV infection."

In fact it was the drugs that were causing many of the problems. The BBC identified pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline as one of the companies that provided drugs for the tests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has been an ongoing story, see below:

Drug Tests on Foster Kids Spark Scandal in NYC

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

By Wendy McElroy

Were HIV-positive infants and children in the Manhattan foster care system (search) used as guinea pigs in medical experiments? That question is at the heart of a potential scandal that could propel child welfare systems in North America toward greater transparency and accountability.

On Feb. 29, The New York Post exposed the problem in three articles by Douglas Montero (search): The first, "AIDS Tots Used as 'Guinea Pigs,'" claimed that about 50 children had been used in 13 medical experiments, some involving high doses of AIDS medications, at Manhattan's Incarnation Children's Center (search). The Post later revised the number to 100 in the light of data released on March 1 by New York City's Administration for Children's Services, following a review of their files.

The second article, "I Took Girls Out of Hell and City Stole Them Back," was the story of Jacqueline Hoerger, a pediatric nurse and foster mother to two girls from ICC, where she had worked from 1989 to 1993. Social workers took the girls from Hoerger because she refused to administer AIDS medications that she learned were "highly toxic and mostly untested in children."

At ICC, Hoerger says she witnessed experimental treatment "on HIV-infected children, some as young as three months."

In the third piece, an op-ed entitled "Defenseless Kids' Guardian Agency Won't Come Clean," Montero posed his questions for the ACS: For example, "how many children were involved?" And, to whom could the children "call for relief if researchers prodded too hard, hurt them, made them cry or made them sick?"

In other words, what authority supervised the treatment of children who had no parent or foster parent to render consent?

The ACS assigned the children to the studies, but the agency lacks the medical expertise to evaluate whether the application of an experimental treatment is appropriate or abusive. Moreover, according to Anat Jacobson, a spokeswoman for the Public Advocate's Office that serves as a watchdog to the ACS, her agency had no knowledge of the experimental treatments.

Jacobson expressed concern that the ACS might have "just unilaterally signed up these kids."

The ACS could answer Montero's questions, but instead, it seems to be invoking privacy concerns in order to remain silent. When questions involve aggregate numbers and protocol, however, there is no privacy issue. And there are well-established methods for discussing medical studies that preserve the anonymity of subjects.

In the presence of official silence, the facts alleged gain credibility. What are they? A good place to begin is with the ICC, which is run by the Archdiocese of New York's Catholic Charities and was opened in 1989 to provide residential and outpatient medical care for HIV-infected children. The ICC has conducted dozens of experimental medical studies, most of which were funded by federal grants or-more controversially-by pharmaceutical companies.

One of the ICC's experimental studies, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, was entitled "HIV Wasting Syndrome." Its purpose was "to see how beginning or changing anti-HIV medications affects the body composition ... of HIV-infected children."

No one could fault researchers for administering appropriate drugs to sick children and monitoring the results, especially when the children might not otherwise receive treatment. But questions immediately arise concerning studies that purportedly tested the "safety," "tolerance" and "toxicity" of AIDS drugs. Or one that tested the reaction of HIV-positive children, ages six to seven months, to the injection of two doses of measles vaccine. The ICC used to offer descriptions of such experiments on its web site, which became abruptly inoperative in the wake of the Post's investigation. Without data, how can the validity be judged?

News of the experiments is already fueling outrage. "They are torturing these kids, and it is nothing short of murder," Michael Ellner of Health Education AIDS Liaison declared of the experiments that ended in 2002.

Biochemist Dr. David Rasnick, an expert in AIDS medication, reviewed the AIDS drugs administered to the children and concluded that alone, or in combination as they often were administered, the drugs had "acute toxicity which could be fatal."

ACS must be forthcoming. Silence or bureaucratic answers aren't going to work this time. Driven by criticism by officials such as New York City Councilman Bill DiBlasio, the New York Health Department is beginning to investigate.

Moreover, the "scandal" has hit the international press. A headline in last week's Japan Today announced, "HIV-infected kids in New York used as 'guinea pigs.'" Newspapers in France and the U.K. echoed the accusation. Too many eyes are watching.

It is usually parents who look out for children-comfort their tears, shield them from abuse, and make wrenching decisions about their welfare. Who comforted and protected the parent-less, HIV-positive infants and children at ICC? I hope there were hospital staff who held each sick child in their arms and wanted nothing more than to heal the pain.

But data has disappeared. Archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling reportedly told journalists that he did not know why the experiments stopped in 2002 or whether any of the children had died. Nicholas Scoppetta, who headed ACS during the experiments and has since left the agency to become New York City's current fire commissioner, will not comment.

Hopes are not enough. For once, a child welfare system must have the courage and decency to open itself to public scrutiny.

http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,113734,00.html

Something needs to be done and someone should be made to answer for this, sooner than later!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a research coordinator for HIV/AIDS pediatric clinical trials. Most of our studies are funded by NIH, but some are pharmaceutical. I have not heard of this. If this were true, it would be a blantant violation of Good Clinical Practice Guidelines and multiple federal offenses.

I am very interested to know:

A) What these dangerously experimental drugs are

B) Who the physicians were

C) Why this has not come out all over the headlines in mainstream media as these "research flubs" usually do.

I cannot believe that Glaxo or any other pharmaceutical company would risk its reputation and credibility by participating in such a thing.

ALL HIV drugs have bad side effects. They are like chemotherapy. We conduct clinical trials on HIV+ children AT BIRTH if they qualify and if the mothers CONSENT. The drugs are NEEDED to fight the child's HIV and prevent AIDS and have usually gone through Phase I testing already.

I am so skeptical of this article...I will consult with my colleagues and do some searching to see if I can find reliable information on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is Tuskegee all over again. It happened once, it could happen again. If evil people got away with it once, they will try again. If this bears out to be true, then all involved should be criminally charged and do hard time, especially the execs at GSK. There is absolutely no excuse for this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found a few more. Difficult for me to determine what it means.

http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct/show/NCT00006064?order=1

The Effect of Anti-HIV Treatment on Body Characteristics of HIV-Infected Children

This study is no longer recruiting patients.

Sponsored by: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Information provided by: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to see how beginning or changing anti-HIV medications affects the body composition (weight, height, growth, body fat, and muscle mass, or fat and muscle distribution) of HIV-infected children. This study also looks at how changes in body composition relate to changes in viral load (level of HIV in the blood), CD4 cell counts, height, and weight in HIV-infected children. This study also compares changes in body composition to levels of cytokines (proteins in the body that affect some immune cells) in HIV-infected children who are beginning or changing anti-HIV therapy. Though studies have been done on adults, little is known about the effects of HIV infection and anti-HIV drugs on body composition in children. One theory is that changes in body composition can predict the failure of anti-HIV treatment. If this is true, body composition measurements can be as useful as CD4+ cell counts in determining drug effectiveness.

http://neworleans.indymedia.org/print.php?id=1887

http://www.nypress.com/17/28/news&columns/LiamScheff.cfm

http://www.covenantnews.com/abortion/archives/005748.html

Pro-Life News

MAKE ABORTION ILLEGAL

July 24, 2004

Orphans On Trial (7 page feature story)

Abandoned kids are force-fed experimental AIDS drugs at a Catholic children's home in Washington Heights. And the city wants it that way.

Posted by Editor at July 24, 2004 01:01 PM

--------------------------------

http://www.altheal.org/toxicity/house.htm

http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct/show/NCT00006064?order=1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ALL HIV drugs have bad side effects. They are like chemotherapy. We conduct clinical trials on HIV+ children AT BIRTH if they qualify and if the mothers CONSENT. The drugs are NEEDED to fight the child's HIV and prevent AIDS and have usually gone through Phase I testing already.

None of that is in question. This is quite a different thing from legitimate clinical trials for those who consent to it. Big difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple more articles:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=17205

GSK Criticised for Testing HIV/AIDS Drug in Children's Home

02 Dec 2004

A BBC TWO television documentary, titled "Guinea Pig Kids," scheduled to air on Tuesday has renewed criticism of GlaxoSmithKline for sponsoring trials of HIV/AIDS-related medicines at Incarnation Children's Center in New York City, Reuters reports.

The New York Post in February reported that 50 HIV-positive foster children from Manhattan's Incarnation Children's Center were involved in 13 clinical trials -- some of which involved combination antiretroviral drug therapy -- that were funded by federal grants and pharmaceutical companies. The children were sent to ICC by the city's Administration for Children's Services.

ACS requires parental consent for children to be involved in medical studies. However, if a parent cannot be located, the decision is made by ACS' medical and legal divisions and its commissioner. The state Department of Health had begun an investigation into the studies involving HIV-positive children (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/2).

GSK said that regulatory agencies had encouraged the trials so that drugs could be properly prescribed to children, according to Reuters.

"Clinical trials involving children and orphans are therefore legal and not unusual," a GSK statement said. However, Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said that GSK was "being accused of exploiting one of our most vulnerable populations," according to Reuters (Reuters, 11/30).

Vera Sherav, spokesperson for the Alliance for Human Research Protection, said, "They tested these highly experimental drugs," adding, "Why didn't they provide the children with the current best treatment? That's the question we have" (Doran, BBC News, 11/30).

http://www.kaisernetwork.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GSK defends child HIV drug testing

GlaxoSmithKline has defended its pediatric trials of HIV/AIDS drugs after receiving criticism of studies at a New York care home sponsored by the company.

http://uk.biz.yahoo.com/041201/241/f7pjs.html

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20041130/bs_nm/aids_glaxo_dc_2

...GSK, the world's largest maker of AIDS/HIV medicines, responded that regulatory agencies encouraged companies to conduct pediatric trials so that medicines could be appropriately prescribed to children.

"Clinical trials involving children and orphans are therefore legal and not unusual," it said....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is Tuskegee all over again. It happened once, it could happen again. If evil people got away with it once, they will try again. If this bears out to be true, then all involved should be criminally charged and do hard time, especially the execs at GSK. There is absolutely no excuse for this.

WOW Tuskeegee came to MY mind too. This is disgraceful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I found a few more. Difficult for me to determine what it means.

http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct/show/NCT00006064?order=1

The Effect of Anti-HIV Treatment on Body Characteristics of HIV-Infected Children

This study is no longer recruiting patients.

Sponsored by: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Information provided by: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to see how beginning or changing anti-HIV medications affects the body composition (weight, height, growth, body fat, and muscle mass, or fat and muscle distribution) of HIV-infected children. This study also looks at how changes in body composition relate to changes in viral load (level of HIV in the blood), CD4 cell counts, height, and weight in HIV-infected children. This study also compares changes in body composition to levels of cytokines (proteins in the body that affect some immune cells) in HIV-infected children who are beginning or changing anti-HIV therapy. Though studies have been done on adults, little is known about the effects of HIV infection and anti-HIV drugs on body composition in children. One theory is that changes in body composition can predict the failure of anti-HIV treatment. If this is true, body composition measurements can be as useful as CD4+ cell counts in determining drug effectiveness.

http://neworleans.indymedia.org/print.php?id=1887

http://www.nypress.com/17/28/news&columns/LiamScheff.cfm

http://www.covenantnews.com/abortion/archives/005748.html

Pro-Life News

MAKE ABORTION ILLEGAL

July 24, 2004

Orphans On Trial (7 page feature story)

Abandoned kids are force-fed experimental AIDS drugs at a Catholic children's home in Washington Heights. And the city wants it that way.

Posted by Editor at July 24, 2004 01:01 PM

--------------------------------

http://www.altheal.org/toxicity/house.htm

http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct/show/NCT00006064?order=1

I currently work with the NICHD conducting clinical trials. The research study you have referenced is, if you will note, an OBSERVATIONAL study. This means that there is NO treatment or experimental drug involved at all. This is the part you left out of your post:

"Study Type: Observational

Study Design: Natural History"

Please also note that NICHD and NAIAD studies are funded by the NIH and NOT pharmaceutical compainies.

Similar to anti-cancer drugs, HIV drugs are always studied in depth in order to learn about the possible side effects which are followed over time. The data is used in the implementation of studies with new drugs in the hope that safer, more effective drugs can be made.

I think there is some overreaction here...still I have not found a legitimate source for this information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is the part you left out of your post:

"Study Type: Observational

Study Design: Natural History"

Please also note that NICHD and NAIAD studies are funded by the NIH and NOT pharmaceutical compainies.

How interesting. Thanks for posting ALL the information, BeachNurse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies to learn more.