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Pfizer Begins Payments In Drug Trial Case

KANO, Nigeria, Aug. 11 (UPI) — U.S.-based pharmaceutical company Pfizer has agreed to compensation for four Nigerian families involved in a controversial drug trial, authorities said.

Children of the families were among 200 children given the experimental anti-meningitis drug Trovan in 1996 during a meningitis epidemic in the Nigerian city of Kano as part of a medical trial to compare Trovan’s effectiveness with the established treatment, BBC News reported.

Eleven children died and dozens were left disabled after being treated with the drug.

Pfizer has maintained meningitis, not the drug, caused the deaths and disabilities, but has settled with the Kano state government after lengthy litigation.

DNA tests were conducted to establish which families are entitled to payments, the Nigerian Tribune reported.

Pfizer has paid $175,000 each to the four families in the first of a series of payments agreed to in the settlement.

Pfizer has also agreed to create a $35 million fund to compensate those affected by the drug trial.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

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