Clinical trials in developing countries

the plaintiff's challenge

Jolyon Ford, George Tomossy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Current debate surrounding clinical trials in developing countries has served to heighten awareness about global inequalities in healthcare, particularly distribution of the benefits of research. The bioethics literature has not enerally addressed the issue of distribution of the risks involved: the practical and legal challenges faced by subjects in developing countries who are wrongfully injured in the course of drug trial participation and would seek compensation. These individuals represent new entrants into a broader category of plaintiffs facing transnational ‘access to justice’ barriers when wronged in the course of the activities of multinational corporations in developing countries. This article examines the challenges faced by such plaintiffs, using as a case study the ongoing legal action commenced in the United States by the families of Nigerian children who had participated in a clinical trial sponsored by a leading US-based multinational pharmaceutical company.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalLaw, social justice and global development journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • access to justice
  • bioethics
  • clinical trials
  • forum non conveniens
  • remedies
  • transnational corporations

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