A US pharmaceutical giant has handed over six-figure product liability settlements to bereaved Nigerian families who took part in an experimental drug trial.
The Pfizer company paid $175,000 each to four families from the northern city of Kano who lost children during an outbreak of meningitis in 1996.
Their product liability compensation was paid after 15 years of legal trials to establish whether the drug Trovan, an experimental meningitis cure, had been responsible for a number of deaths and disabilities among victims of the epidemic.
Initially Pfizer maintained that the disease had been responsible, but under mounting pressure from the Kano government an out-of-court settlement was reached in 2009 in respect of the families' product liability claim.
Having reached a settlement, DNA testing of the affected parties was required in order to prove entitlement to compensation.
That process has taken two years, and according to the BBC it could take another 12 months for their claims to be completed.
Pfizer has since committed to a series of projects aimed at promoting health and wellbeing for the people of Kano.
On top of product liability payouts, the company has pledged a further $35m to help those adversely affected by Trovan in the 1990s.
Published on 2011-08-12 16:34:00
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