Drug trials: Actimus Bio officials held as students lodge complaint

Our Bureau Visakhapatnam | Updated on July 19, 2011

The Chief Executive Officer of Actimus Bio-sciences Private Ltd, Mr A. Gangadhar, and two other officials were arrested on Tuesday following a complaint on Monday evening by two local students that the company had kept them under detention and administered certain drugs, adversely affecting their health.

Actimus Bio is a US-based company which has labs in Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad. It conducts drug trials. Mr Y. Kondapa Naidu, General Manager (Operations), and Mr G. Anand Babu, Assistant Manager, were also taken into custody.

The two students - M. Naresh and M. Ajay Kumar Reddy — alleged in their complaint that a broker had approached them and taken them to the lab. There on Saturday and Sunday they were administered certain drugs and blood samples were collected from them. The students said they were not allowed to go out on Saturday and Sunday and they managed to get out only on Monday. Their health was badly affected and then they approached the police along with their parents.

The parents alleged that the boys had been lured into it and did not know of the consequences.

Illegal detention

The local police said on Tuesday that on the basis of the complaint a case of illegal detention had been lodged against the officials and they had been arrested on the charge.

The central drug authorities would subsequently probe the charges and find out whether the prescribed procedures and protocols had been followed or not in conducting the trials.

Mr R. Uday Bhaskar, Assistant Director of the State Drug Control Administration, said that on the basis of the complaint the local drug control officials had gone to the lab, conducted the preliminary inquiries and checked the documents. He said Lanatrogene, a drug used to control convulsions and fits, had been administered to the students. He said the lab had obtained permission from the central drug control authorities to conduct such experiments.

But the students had alleged that certain expired drugs had been administered to them and to probe the charge the local drug control officials had gone to the lab.

He said officials from the Central Drug Standard Control Organisation would later visit the lab on Wednesday or Thursday to ascertain whether the prescribed protocols had been followed or not.

Published on July 19, 2011

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