The Indian government has been asked by the country's Supreme Court to provide details of all the clinical trials currently being conducted in the country and also provide information about their side effects or instances of deaths.
The apex court bench of Justice R.M. Lodha and Justice Anil R. Dave, while asking the central government to furnish the details, also issued notice to all state governments, seeking to know whether they were being kept in the loop regarding clinical trials in their states.
The court wanted to know if the states have any special laws or regulations to regulate clinical trials.
The court expressed its anguish that these trials related to human beings, and said, "We are concerned about the lives of human beings who become subjects of clinical trials unknowingly and helplessly, pointing to the process of malpractices by doctors and drug companies."
The court declined to accept the Madhya Pradesh government's plea that the state government was in the dark about clinical trials being conducted in the state.
The court said clinical trials were being conducted in government hospitals by their doctors and found it difficult to accept that the state government was totally unaware of it.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation by non-governmental organisation Swasthya Adhikar Manch, which pointed to clinical trials being conducted in Madhya Pradesh without patients being aware that they were subjects of such trials.