Joe C Mathew / New Delhi September 28, 2010, 0:38 IST
The three-member expert committee of the health ministry may give a clean chit to the agencies that conducted observational clinical trials on the safety and efficacy of cervical cancer vaccines marketed by global drug majors GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Merck in the country.
The studies, independently initiated by international non-governmental-organization PATH and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for GSK and Merck vaccines respectively, were called off early this year after six deaths were reported among the girls who were administered these vaccines in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
The committee, formed after the government suspended the vaccine trials, was mandated to find if the trials had indeed caused the deaths and whether it was necessary to allow further trials.
Official sources said the committee had not been able to see any linkage between the administration of vaccines and the deaths. When contacted, Lucknow-based S S Agarwal, the medical expert who heads the committee, declined to comment on the development. He informed that the committee’s views, which are in the final stages of preparation, would be submitted to the health ministry soon.
Funny how women’s health issues make it into the business section. $$$$$$$$