Home » Health » Parirenyatwa Speaks On Drug Trials

Medical research on human beings in Africa should not only be tried on Africans with no other benefits to the same communities, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa has said. Officially opening a one-day workshop in Harare on Monday on trials versus ethics, Dr Parirenyatwa said communities from which the trials are done should benefit either through intellectual property rights or royalties.

He said at the moment, most trials were done on Africans, but samples were being sent to Western countries for analysis with little benefit to the same communities participating in the trials.

“When these drugs are proved to work, they are sold back to Africa very expensive, yet the trials would have been conducted on our people,” Dr Parirenyatwa said.

“All we are doing is facilitating these researches, but do not benefit directly.”

Dr Parirenyatwa said Africa looked forward to benefiting from the research either through intellectual property rights or royalties to all studies that would have been conducted.

Zimbabwean-born researcher based at University of Witswatersrand in South Africa Dr Aceme Nyika said there was a lot of knowledge in Africa which should be used locally to initiate local research for domestic benefit. Dr Nyika said Africans should not continue to be used as “guinea pigs”. He said Africans needed a transfer of technology so that those samples sent out of the country should be able to be analysed locally.

“We need to drive our own research agenda and make efforts to translate research findings into products that can strengthen our economies,” said Dr Nyika

He said the purpose of their one day workshop was to deliberate on how best to deal with health challenges facing Zimbabwe and the African continent.

Dr Nyika said some of the research had claimed lives, while some was done without consent from the victims, violating individual rights.

In Zimbabwe, a British doctor Richard Gladwell McGown was charged of culpable homicide in the 80s after he unlawfully conducted medical experiments on morphine dosages without the consent of patients. Some of his patients died in the process.

Source : The Herald