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Nigerian state withdraws drug suit against Pfizer

August 10, 2009
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The Associated Foreign Press reports that Nigeria''s northern Kano state has withdrew a landmark criminal and civil suit against U.S. drug group Pfizer over a 1996 drug trial that left 11 children dead and 189 others deformed. The withdrawal of the suit followed a 75-million dollar (52 million euros) out-of-court settlement between the two parties, Kano Justice Commissioner Aliyu Umar told a high court. Umar formally requested withdrawal of the case the day after the settlement. Judge Shehu Atiku said the action was not an acquittal as the case could be reopened if Pfizer failed to meet its part of the agreement. Kano filed criminal and civil suits before Kano State high court in April 2007 against Pfizer demanding 2.75 billion dollar compensation. It charged that Pfizer carried out an illegal trial of a meningitis drug, Trovan Floxacin, on 200 children in 1996 during a triple epidemic of meningitis, measles and cholera in which over 12,000 people died. Pfizer denied any wrongdoing, insisting that the trial was conducted with the consent of the Nigerian government and conformed to ethical procedures.

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