3_New Colonialism - Nundy et al.

3_New Colonialism - Nundy et al. - PERSPECTIVE A New...

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n engl j med 352;16 www.nejm.org april 21, 2005 1635 PERSPECTIVE successful drug trials of immediate relevance to India and other developing countries. A notable ex- ample was a study, conducted in the early 1960s, of a new regimen for home-based treatment of tuber- culosis, which was sponsored by the World Health Organization, the British Medical Research Coun- cil, and the Indian Council of Medical Research. 4 Nevertheless, even as corporate sponsors, clinical research organizations, investigators, and hospitals demand easier access to Indian subjects for studies of new foreign drugs, opponents argue that India itself would not benefit greatly from these studies. The first reason it would not benefit is that the much-hyped earning potential is likely to remain a distant dream. Last year, although U.S. companies spent a total of $33 billion on new-drug research, U.S. and other Western companies combined spent only $30 million in India. Even with relaxed rules, India makes as much in one day by exporting com- puter software (which offers no direct risk to any-
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