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A Thai nurse prepares a syringe with an experimental AIDS vaccine to inoculate a "volunteer" at the Bangsue Narcotics Clinic in Bangkok. Some participants in the drug study are given placebos, not real medicine. (Lois Raimondo - The Washington Post)
About this Series
In this six-part series, the Post examines the booming, poorly- regulated system of international clinical drug testing that far too often preys on the poor and uneducated and betrays its promises to patients and consumers.
The reporters of this series can be reached by e-mail: Joe Stephens, Mary Pat Flaherty, Deborah Nelson
Post Editorial
 Guinea Pigs Abroad
As the world gets smaller and the pharmaceutical research enterprise larger, it probably was inevitable that the big drug companies would turn more to developing countries to conduct their drug trials.
Post Editorial
 Testing Drugs Abroad (12/24/00)
Photo Galleries

At the Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Kano, Nigeria
Testing anti-psychotic drugs in Budapest
Amidst the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Thailand

Body Hunters The Global Growth of Overseas Drug Trials in the 1990s
 Bringing a New Drug to Market
The Regulators
 The Food and Drug Administration's guide to patient informed consent
 Regulatory agencies of Central Eastern European countries
 National Institutes of Health'sOffice of Human Subjects Research
 Why do drug companies go overseas? and other Frequently Asked Questions about clinical drug trials.
For More Information
 Search the National Institute of Health's for current public information about clinical research studies.
Suit Accuses Pfizer of Rights Violations
Pfizer Inc. was sued Wednesday on behalf of 30 Nigerian families who contend that the world's largest drugmaker violated international law during a 1996 meningitis epidemic by experimenting on children without their knowledge or consent.

The Body Hunters: Part 1
Profits and Lives Hang in Balance
A Post investigation into corporate drug tests around the world reveals a booming, poorly regulated system.

The Body Hunters: Part 2
Avoiding the Watchdogs
A global boom in overseas drug experiments is changing the way new drugs are tested and approved.
 Drug Reveals System's Flaws

The Body Hunters: Part 3
Failure of Consent
Drug companies often use coercion and trickery to recruit naive, impoverished or uneducated patients in far-flung countries for medical tests.

The Body Hunters: Part 4
Harvesting China's Blood
The same standards that apply to medical testing in developed nations may not provide the same protections to more vulnerable populations.

The Body Hunters: Part 5
Testing's El Dorado
Western drug companies increasingly view Latin America as a major source of subjects for drug experiments.
 Costa Rica 'Special' Place for Trials

Continuing Coverage

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