New Delhi: Nearly 1,600 people died during clinical trials of drugs conducted by various multinational pharmaceutical companies in the 2008-10 period but the compensation was paid only in 22 cases, according to the Directorate General of Health Services.
   
Replying to an RTI query, the DGHS said 288 people lost their lives during clinical trials in 2008, while 637 and 668 deaths were reported in the year 2009 and 2010 respectively.
   
A total of Rs 53.33 lakh was paid as compensation in 22 cases only out of 668 deaths in 2010, it said.
   
This information was obtained by Hisar-based RTI activist Ramesh Verma. In his RTI application, Verma had sought details of the clinical trials conducted in India in last 10 years, the number of people died during these trials, and the compensation paid to their families.
   
The DGHS reply said that some of the deaths occurred due to side-effects of the medicines developed to cure serious illness such as cancer.
   
DGHS rules prescribe for a compensation in cases of deaths during clinical trials, but they do not say anything on the amount of money to be paid as compensation.
   
According to the RTI reply, the number of registered clinical trials in the country from 2007 to 2010 stood at 1,502.

(Agencies)