E.Germany's secret police sold citizens to western pharmaceutical companies to use as human guinea pigs in drug trials

05/12/2012 16:59
 

 

Former Communist East Germany secretly sold its citizens to western pharmaceutical companies to use as human guinea pigs in drug trials.

Tens of thousands of sick people in the former German Democratic Republic were treated with medicines not approved in the West to see how effective they were.

Details of the top secret project have been unearthed in the files of the Stasi secret police in Berlin. The communist regime profited with millions in hard currency.

But the human cost was high with dozens killed through side effects of drugs which had bypassed the normally stringent testing procedures demanded by western democracies.

Even worse, some patients received placebos - pills that did nothing at all - to gauge how they responded in comparison to others who were given proper medication.

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