Financial Times Examines Implications Of Controversy Over Indian HPV Vaccination Study

The Financial Times examines how the deaths of seven female participants of a study on the cost and feasibility of incorporating human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines “into India’s public sector immunization program” has affected opinions of drug trials in the country. “[T]he program to vaccinate 14,000 adolescent girls from poor families ran into trouble after seven died soon after their vaccinations,” the newspaper notes. Though “[t]he causes of the girls’ deaths were never established or conclusively linked to the HPV vaccine … serious questions were raised over whether the participants’ parents — many of whom were illiterate — had given informed consent, and whether the project adequately tracked any adverse reactions,” the newspaper writes, adding, “The ensuing media and political storm — highlighting sensitivities around drug trials in the developing world — has contributed to the restrictions on such studies, affecting both Indian and global pharmaceutical companies” (Kazmin, 11/18).