READING PASSAGE 3
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 29-40 which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.
Human Guinea Pig
There are 50 million people in the world being used as guinea pigs in clinical trials testing experimental drugs. Apart from potentially risking part of their lives, applicants must pass a severe series of tests just to be able to participate in some trials. However, acceptance means more tests, negative side effects and a considerable disturbance to their daily lives. So what’s in it for them? As journalist Alex O’Meara explains in Chasing Medical Miracles, some participate out of genuine altruism, whilst some are looking for cures for their own disorders. O’Meara having diabetes himself volunteered for a risky transplant of insulinproducing cells from the liver, and his story spread through the book.
O’Meara knows people choose to participate for life’s great motivator: money. Clinical trials are a huge business, making up to $24 billion annually, and the cash they offer as compensation has become a sought-after way to make extra money. This exchange of money often involves people who are sick and vulnerable, and emphasises the dark ethical waters in which current clinical trials are mired.
At intervals, the ill feel compelled to join a trial to get medical care. Some unethical researchers, desperate to recruit the large numbers needed to make their researches statistically valid, take advantage of this. It can be difficult for ill people to take that, at best, they are taking experimental medicine and at worst they are taking nothing at all.
Desperation for money or medicine is never a basis for unbiased decision-making. How can a researcher be sure a person is giving their true consent? And if a person gets better as a result of taking an experimental drug, what happens when their drug supply finishes after the trial?
These ethical quandaries have influenced healthcare in developing countries where clinical trials are a prospering industry. According to Adriana Petryna in When Experiments Travel. in spite of the fact that drug companies are moving their trials to developing countries, only 10% of drug research addresses disorders that influence the world’s poor. Such diseases make up to 90% of the global disease burden. Establishing ethical and legal responsibilities is also becoming harder, she reports. With an increased number of subcontractors included in trials, it is clear that no one is overly concerned about patient welfare.
From this theory, international human rights frameworks such as the Nuremberg Code should ensure that participants are not taking any positive effect. In reality, largely poor and illiterate populations are being exploited. Besides, ethical regulations in poor countries are rarely strict, therefore researchers can get away with recruiting people into HIV trials knowing that they will die without the experimental drug.
O’Meara also reports about drug company’s greed and the inability of regulators to control the rapidly increasing number of trials. The US Food and Drug Administration inspects less than 1% of the 350,000 registered trial sites. Drug firms are managing non-profit organizations that are undertaking just 30% of trials. However, in spite of their faults, clinical trials are still an essential tool of modern medicine.
Complete the summary below.
Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 29-36 on your answer sheet.
For testing experimental 29 _______ , there are 50 million people being used as guinea pigs looking for remedies to 30 _______ in clinical trials in spite of the risks throughout the world. Actually, that means people are both eager for life’s considerable milestone of 31 _______ to make up insufficient labour pay in their lives and 32 _______ to participate in a trial. These ethical dilemmas have influenced health problems in 33 _______ where drug companies encouraged their trials.
From these situations between 34 _______ and _______ , international human rights frameworks like 35 _______ should inform people of poverty of the poor countries which have a lack of 36 _______ ethical regulations.
Complete the sentences below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 37-39 on your answer sheet.
37 Whilst some choose to cure themselves, some participated due to _______.
38 Hopelessness for either _______ or _______ does not work for fair decision-making.
39 Drug companies invest a lot of money in developing countries, causing _______.
Choose the correct letter, A, B, c or D.
Write the correct letter in box 40 on your answer sheet.
Which of the following phrases best describes the main aim of Reading Passage 3?
A to warn that guinea pigs are likely to have financial problems
B to describe how clinical trials were rapidly increasing and how serious they were
C to suggest that the Nuremberg Code is needed in other countries
D to examine how drug companies promoted the use of guinea pigs
|30||their own disorders|
|34||ethical, legal responsibilities|
|35||(the) Nuremberg Code|