Tue Dec 4, 2012, 04:00 PM
rachel1 (538 posts)
East Germany sold sick for West pharma testing
Communist East Germany not only put its political prisoners to work making Ikea furniture, it also sold the bodies of its sick citizens to Western pharmaceutical firms for testing their new products, a new television documentary has revealed.
The unwitting human guinea pigs were either given unproven medicines or placebos against which the effects of the new drugs could be compared. Western pharma firms paid hundreds of thousands of Deutsche marks for the test subjects - all of which was swallowed by the struggling East German economy.
The documentary Tests und Tote (Tests and the Dead) shown on Monday night on the ARD state broadcaster showed how as pharma companies were forced to conduct extensive testing in the wake of the Thalidomide scandal which left thousands of people deformed, they turned to the East, which was desperate for hard currency.
But considering the severity of the claims - and potential for compensation demands, it seems unlikely that pharma companies will offer a mea culpa and apology as Ikea recently did for using East German political prisoners as cheap labour.
What an atrocity, though I'm not surprised.
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