The market for human research has not escaped the financial crisis: French companies testing new medicine have seen a 20% average fall in activity. As in many other affected industries around the world today, the cause can be attributed to offshoring. Many major pharmaceutical companies now carry out their clinical testing in emerging countries; and India is the epicentre.
With drugs trials costing 60% less than in western countries, looser legislation, and most importantly, billions of willing volunteers who can receive compensation many times larger than the average salary, the biggest labs in the world have set up testing clinics here. But this influx has dark undercurrents, with deaths and future health repercussions being attributed to these medicinal trials. Patients effectively sign their lives over to be used as guinea pigs for testing that is often risky and unchartered.