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Pfizer Urges Court to Reject Nigerian Government Drug Trial Report


U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has asked a Nigerian court to reject a government report on the company's 1996 drug trials, saying the report is biased.

During a court hearing Wednesday in Abuja, Pfizer attorney Anthony Ndigbe says the government report was unacceptable because Pfizer was never given a chance to cross examine witnesses cited in the document.

The government's attorney, Babatunde Irukera, urged the court to accept the report.

Nigeria accuses Pfizer of conducting unauthorized clinical trials of the drug Trovan, which it says led to the deaths of 11 Nigerian children. Several of the 200 children in the trial allegedly suffered permanent health problems. Both the federal government and Kano state are seeking billions in damages.

Pfizer has said the tests were conducted in an ethical way and with the full knowledge of the Nigerian government.

The trial resumed this week.

The pharmaceutical company insists the alleged victims were affected by meningitis, not Trovan.

More than 12,000 Nigerian children died in six months from the 1996 meningitis epidemic, an infection of the nervous system that can kill in hours.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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