Drug studies of the western pharmaceutical companies in the German Democratic Republic (GDR)
Studies on drugs produced by western pharmaceutical companies have been conducted in the former GDR. The extent and the nature of these studies as well as the sort of the tested products are still mostly unknown. Likewise, it is still unclear which medical institutions took part in the trials, how many test persons were involved, what level of expertise possessed the physicians responsible for the trials and, the central question, whether and to what extend the test participants were informed about the aim and the procedures of the trials. It is also unknown whether the patients consented to the trials. In the joint project of the Universities of Jena, Leipzig, and Halle-Wittenberg, under the lead of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Florian Steger (Director of the Institute for the History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine at the Medical Faculty of Ulm University) takes place a systematic and historically-critical reappraisal of these pharmaceutical trials. The study concentrates on the region of Central Germany. With the assistance of local projects in medical clinics and regional archives, the project aims to answer the questions about ethical standards of the pharmaceutical drug test, whether the participants of these tests were provided with appropriate information, and whether they consented to the conduct of the tests. Against this backdrop, the project aims to identify and scientifically evaluate the ethically questionable and problematic aspects of these incidents.
Project lead: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Florian Steger