Lawyer Gets Hearing Over Pfizer's “Immoral Drug Test”

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is going to have to defend itself against allegations the company is trying to force a deceptive settlement involving the deaths of Nigerian children who were given an experimental drug.

A Superior Court judge signed West Haven attorney Richard Altschuler’s application ordering Pfizer Inc. to a hearing regarding allegations that company representatives are circumventing attorneys for Nigerian children who died after an experimental drug test, the New Haven Register reports.

Pfizer tested the drug Trovan in a Nigerian hospital during a1996 meningitis epidemic, the Washington Post reports. Up to 34 children died, while 20 others were severely disabled by the drug, The Register reports.

Pfizer argues the clinical trial was done properly, and that it actually saved lives in the long run. The company claims the deaths resulted from diseases the children had already contracted before being given Trovan.

Altschuler filed the original lawsuit in Connecticut because he claims the "immoral drug test" was planned at Pfizer's research and development headquarters in New London and Groton, according to the Register.

The attorney said he took the latest legal action because Pfizer was prepared to sign a legal settlement in London today, which he calls "oppressive, coerced, and deceptive," the Register reported.

The judge's ruling in Connecticut now prevents Pfizer from signing that agreement in London at least until a June 1 hearing in New Haven. 

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