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Children in state care used as guinea pigs for secret drug testing

Children in state care used as guinea pigs for secret drug testing 1

From: Sunday World 

Reports claim that thousands of children in religious run homes throughout Ireland were subject to secret drug trials.

The Irish Daily Mail reports that the vaccine trials were carried out over six years for drugs giant Burroughs Wellcome, now known as GlaxoSmithKline or GSK.

Michael Dwyer from Cork University’s School of History couldn’t find any evidence in Ireland that these clinical trials took place until he began scouring through thousands of medical journals.

The trials, which were for a diphtheria vaccine, were conducted before the vaccine was made available for used in the UK.

After spending three years sorting through more than 25,000 medical journals Mr Dwyer found data in only six reports, but from these he was able to establish that 2,051 children and babies in residential care homes had been vaccinated.

The trials were held between 1930 and 1936.

Children in Bessborough, Co Cork and Sean Ross Abby in Roscrea, Co Tipperary were secretly tested.

“What I have found is just the tip of a very large and submerged iceberg” Mr Dwyer told The Mail.

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“The fact that no record of these trials can be found in the files relating to the Department of Local Government and Public Health, the Municipal Health Reports relating to Cork and Dublin or the Wellcome Archives in London suggests that vaccine trials would not have been acceptable to government, municipal authorities or the general public,” he continued.

“However the fact that reports of these trials were published in the most prestigious medical journals suggests that this type of human experimentation was largely accepted by medical practitioners and facilitated authorities in charge of children’s residential institutions.”

A GSK spokesman told the Mail “The activities that have been described to us date back over 70 years and, if true, are clearly very distressing.

“We would need further details to investigate what actually took place, but the practices outlined certainly don’t reflect how modern clinical trials are carried out”

According to a 1932 medical journal, Wellcome lab workers who prepared the vaccine for diphtheria had a “complete lack of experience of its use with human beings”

The initial trials were carried out on 436 kids from the general child population in cork

Some of the original batches of the alum-toxoid vaccine, which comprised of 9 per cent aluminium, caused severe reaction like fatal abscesses and hard lumps at the injection site.


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