New Delhi: Alleging a "huge scandal" over drug trials in government medical colleges in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh on Tuesday demanded a central government inquiry into the matter, claiming that more than 100 persons have lost their lives.
In a letter to Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Singh, who is a two-time Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, accused the state government of "protecting" the doctors involved in the scam.
"....A huge scandal has taken place in government medical colleges of Madhya Pradesh, where unsuspecting patients were made to undergo drug trials in which more than 100 people have lost their lives," Singh said in the letter.
The state is under BJP rule for last 10 years, where Assembly elections are scheduled on November 25.
Alleging that huge sums have been received by the doctors, who have not followed Government of India regulations in conducting these drug trials, Singh said, "The incumbent government of Madhya Pradesh is protecting these doctors" and urged the Health Minister to get the matter inquired into.
Singh had a few months back also demanded a probe by CBI into "illegal" clinical trials of drugs in Madhya Pradesh.
According to NGOs and some doctors, illegal and unethical clinical trials were conducted on poor persons including juveniles, tribals and Dalits who were used as "guinea pigs" for testing of drugs and vaccines produced by multinational corporations.
The Supreme Court had last year expressed concern over such trials, saying it`s "unfortunate" that humans were being treated as "guinea pigs".
On July 31, this year, Singh had presented in a press conference the family members of the those who allegedly lost their lives during illegal drug trials. They had narrated how they were made victims by unscrupulous doctors.