French Drug Trial
After a drug trial in France went disastrously wrong—leaving one person in a coma and five others seriously ill—an alarming lack of information and lots of confusion about just what happened has left the entire tragedy in a mist of uncertainty and controversy.
So far, the only facts that seem to have been corroborated by both media sources and French officials are that a pharmaceutical firm somewhere in NW France was conducting a Phase I trial of a new drug.
Typically, during Phase I trials pharmaceutical companies give healthy people small doses of a new drug to test for overall safety rather than effectiveness.
After taking whatever drug was being tested earlier this week, things suddenly spiraled out of control. Currently, one of the test volunteers is reported as being “brain dead” and the other five are critically ill.
In the immediate aftermath of the botched drug test, media outlets began reporting that the new drug was a painkiller that contained cannabis or cannabis-derived extracts.
But Marisol Touraine, France’s Health Minister, immediately denied those claims, saying that the new drug did not provide anything at all related to or derived from the cannabis plant.
Which leaves us wondering why the idea that the drugs had cannabis in them was created in the first place, and why this idea circulated so quickly as fact when it was, in reality, nothing more than misguided conjecture.
Despite what media outlets around the world may have said, Touraine has made it abundantly clear that cannabis had nothing to do with the botched drug test.
A statement released by the Health Minister’s office said: “Marisol Touraine wants to express her solidarity and deep determination to get to the bottom of what happened and establish responsibility for this tragic accident.”
So far, it seems that Touraine’s goals of figuring out just what happened and who’s responsible have not yet been met.
Initial reports were unable to say which pharmaceutical company had developed the drug and administered the test, but International Business Times claimed that it was a company called Biotrial.
Similarly, confusion continues to swirl around the subject of what the drug had been designed to do and what it contained, with many news outlets continuing to say that the drug was cannabis-related despite Marisol’s denials.