Today In Nigerian History: 26th February

On this day in 2009, Kano – US drug giant Pfizer agreed to settle a multi-billion dollar damages case with 200 alleged victims of a drugs trial in Kano, northern Nigeria.

The Kano trovafloxacin trial litigation arose out of a clinical trial conducted by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer in 1996 in Kano, Nigeria, during an epidemic of meningococcal meningitis. To test its new antibiotic, trovafloxacin (Trovan), Pfizer gave 100 children trovafloxacin, while another 100 received the gold-standard anti-meningitis treatment, ceftriaxone, acephalosporin antibiotic.

Pfizer gave the children a substantially reduced dose of the ceftriaxone relative to that described on the US FDA approved Prescribing Information. The allegation is that this was done to skew the test in favor of its own drug.

Five children given trovafloxacin died, as did six of those given ceftriaxone. The lead investigator, Dr. Abdulhamid Isa Dutse, later provided a letter of approval for human trials that was found to be falsified. The Nigerian government called the trial “an illegal trial of an unregistered drug.” It has been alleged that participants and their families were not told that they were part of a trial, and that Médecins Sans Frontières was offering the standard treatment in another part of the same building. Pfizer acknowledged reducing the dose of the standard treatment, but said this was done to minimize injection-site pain, and that the mortality rates in both the trovafloxin and ceftriaxone arms of its trial were lower than among those treated withchloramphenicol by Médecins Sans Frontière

– On this day in 1885, the Congress of Berlin gave Congo to Belgium and Nigeria to England…


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