There have for so many years been talks and suspicions that “Big Pharma” illegally conducts human trials on unsuspecting victims in the so-called, third world? Rumours and whispers abound of teams of white doctors employed these pharmaceutical firms getting permission from the host government under false pretences to “help the local” community or improve their health and quality of life by offering them access to this or that brand new drug. Of course, in order for a drug to be ready to take to market, the American FDA, the Food and Drug Administration requires a specific regime of “proofing on humans” euphemistically referred to as “human trials.” Basically, they want to determine just how few human beings display adverse effects to the drugs or how few are killed before the drug company is awarded a licence to make billions from the consumers by the FDA.

The underlying message here is that the drug companies dare not test their wares on a well-educated white male or female population because the financial consequences resulting from ensuing lawsuits makes them hesitant and anyways, why test it on “our own people?” Why not test it on people that hardly know better? People that are unlikely to sue you and end up in court as your adversary because they are socially more uneducated and less likely to be believed by a jury, so the story goes. There have been instances of new trials been run on a certain segment of the white population, pejoratively known as “white trash” or the “trailer park” lot, but that proves to be more an exception than the rule. 

In 1999, the US Congress (Sub-committee on Consumers of the Committee on Commerce) held hearings into what became known as the “Dalkon Shield Case” that government officials A.H Robbins executives and Pathfinder Fund Administrators conspired in the 1970s to dump 100’s of 1000’s of dangerous, unsterilized contraceptive devices, unmarketable in the United States into the developing world. These devices were Dalkon Shields. Guess where they landed and which population group were successfully persuaded to use them? Yes, you guessed it, poor black women in townships in South Africa. Evidently, our women were persuaded that the use of the IUD as a birth control device would allow them time away from cyclical childbirth and child care to become educated thus opening up more economic opportunities to earn a living. Instead, they were rewarded with septic abortions, septicaemia, pelvic inflammatory diseases and loss of fertility. Unlike in the United States where the company was successfully sued in a class action numbering more than 300 000 lawsuits, the number of deaths as a result of their use in South Africa is and will remain unknown. 

I have researched this pretty extensively and so far as I can tell there’s not one case of black victims suing A.H Robbins for damages or the families of a hapless victim suing for wrongful deaths? There are a few newspaper reports extolling the virtues of contraceptives for women with the underlying message being that black women should become more civilised and like the European and American white counterparts breed less. It is the saddest of ironies that the companies (drug companies) whose existence posits help, empathy and the advancement of the quality of human life so criminally flouts the Oath of Hippocrates to openly and so flagrantly, which demonstrates that in a race between science and racism, racism wins every single time…..