A new report by the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services raises concerns about the amount of drug trials in foreign countries (for American products), and the lack of thorough oversight in those countries. According to the report, 80 percent of drugs approved for sale in America in 2008 were tested in foreign countries, and 78 percent of the test subjects were foreign. Ten drugs had no tests at all in the United States. The report also raised concerns about the fact that the FDA often does not know about foreign trials while they are being conducted, and is far more likely to inspect a domestic trial site than a foreign one.
Last year GAP published a report, The ABCs of Drug Safety (pdf) that delved into this important issue.
An Arkansas woman will receive $2.75 million in damages after the Supreme Court refused to turn aside a jury decision against two subsidiaries of Pfizer. The woman sued after developing breast cancer that she claimed derived from hormone replacement therapy developed by the companies. She claimed the drugs lacked appropriate warnings about increased risks of developing breast cancer. Pfizer may appeal the decision again.
This editorial argues that BP needs to change its company culture to promote whistleblowing, in order to avoid another disaster like the Deepwater Horizon spill.
A judge in Zimbabwe refused to grant bail to a human rights activist despite claims that he was being mistreated in custody. The activist blew the whistle on beatings and killings in the diamond mining industry, and allegedly can identify several perpetrators among senior police officers. The judge's decision to deny bail corresponded with the beginning of talks to determine if Zimbabwe can sell its controversial conflict diamonds, better known as "blood diamonds," on the world market.
The founder of whistleblowing website Wikileaks.org, Julian Assange, told the press that while Wikileaks has reached out to the US government following the detainment of Army Intelligence Specialist Bradley Manning for allegedly leaking classified information to the site, the government had not responded. He also announced that Wikileaks would be releasing another video soon of an air strike in Afghanistan in which many civilians died.
Beth Adelson is Communications Fellow for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower advocacy organization.