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Unformatted text preview: kaushik sunder rajan EXPERIMENTAL VALUES
Indian Clinical Trials and Surplus Health wo prominent indian physicians recently described the clinical trials of new drugs in India as a ‘new colonialism’. In an article published by a leading us medical journal, Samiran Nundy and Chandra Gulhati drew particular attention to ‘illegal and unethical trials’ conducted without regulatory approval.1 But a moral critique of this kind, however legitimate in its own terms, does not adequately grasp the network of economic and social relations that the international health industry has established on a global scale. Even if all clinical trials conducted in India or other Third World countries adhered to the letter of the law and the spirit of ethical codes, the very structure of this network would remain one of exploitation. I shall outline here the dynamics of clinical trials in India, focusing especially on the huge capacity currently being built up in anticipation of the transfer of global trials to the subcontinent. This will provide a basis for interpreting the phenomenon in terms of concepts developed by myself and others currently researching this ﬁeld, particularly those of biocapital and surplus health. T 1. the landscape of clinical trials
Clinical trials are the set of practices required to certify a new drug molecule as safe and efﬁcacious for the market.2 In the United States, the clinical-trials procedure is an elaborate one, conducted in a number of stages and contributing to the immense time, risk and expense of the drug development process. First, there is pre-clinical toxicological testing of a potential new drug molecule. This is usually performed on animals, new left review 45 may june 2007 67 ...
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