Pfizer begins payouts in fatal Nigeria drug study

AP News
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Posted: Aug 11, 2011 10:47 AM
Pfizer begins payouts in fatal Nigeria drug study

Drug maker Pfizer Inc. says it has begun paying victims and their families affected by its fatal 1996 meningitis study in northern Nigeria.

Nigeria's government and the New York-based pharmaceutical company announced a $75 million settlement in 2009. The company on Thursday announced it made a $175,000 payment to the families of four children who died. The families submitted DNA to show the dead were their children.

In 1996, Pfizer treated 100 meningitis-infected children with an experimental antibiotic called Trovan. Eleven children died during the clinical trial, performed during an outbreak of the disease. Lawsuits filed against the company alleged some received a dose lower than recommended, leaving many children with brain damage, paralysis or slurred speech.

Pfizer denied the charges.