A drug study in France has caused the death of one person and the possible permanent brain injury to four others.
A government investigation states that the company running the test committed some major errors when the first person experienced ill effects and was hospitalized. The company, Biotrial, did not pay close attention to that person’s condition before proceeding with tests and giving additional dosages of the test drug to subjects. It also did not, as required by its own disclosure statement to the test subjects, inform them that one patient had been hospitalized so they would have all the information necessary to decide whether to continue.
The investigations third complaint, that Biotrial did not inform the government of these issues, is mostly a complaint by government officials that there weren’t treated with the due respect they deserve, and is less important in my mind.
Read the article, as it is disturbing that a research company could be so cavalier about the lives of the human beings it is using as test subjects.
This story also illustrates indirectly the significant decline in the state of today’s modern mainstream press as well as the greater interests of the general public. This is a major science story. For a clinical drug study to kill one of its test subjects is a big deal. Yet I am certain that this will get no coverage in any cable news outlet. (If anyone see a video story about this, please let me know.) The written news outlets on the web will likely do a story, but it will not give it wide exposure.
Worse however is the reason why these outlets will likely not care much about this story. As I like to say, it is the audience that counts. News organizations cover stories that they think their readers or viewers are interested in, and they, like their audiences, are simply not interested in very much these days. Our society is becoming increasingly close-minded and childish, interested only in shallow reports about subjects that are not very important (such the poll numbers in New Hampshire or whether Marco Rubio wears silly boots).
Any interest in a story about how a drug study killed a person and might have caused permanent brain damage to four others? Nah, that’s no fun! Let’s focus instead on how Donald Trump told Jeb Bush to shut up during last nights debate!