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Meningitis: Pfizer pays victims N26.2m each

By Ise-Oluwa Ige

ABUJA—RELATIONS of victims of a killer-drug known as “Trovafloxacin,” who can prove death or permanent incapacitation following its administration in 2006 on 200 patients, suffering from meningitis in Kano State are to be compensated by Pfizer with N26, 250, 000 ($ 175, 000 USD) each.

The disclosure came during the official hand over of the report of an out-of-court settlement with  Kano State government in Abuja wherein Pfizer declared that it would deal with individuals and not associations in settling the affected persons or families of the deceased.

Both Federal and Kano governments, it would be recalled, had, separately, commenced a public interest litigation against Pfizer and another criminal charge against some of its principal staff over the issue.

This was sequel to the fact that the drug terminated lives of some of the victims while many others suffered permanent disabilities. But the world biggest pharmaceutical company had opted for an out of court settlement.

But as soon as Pfizer agreed to pay the mouth- watering compensation, the Meningitis Trust Fund, a body set up to carry out the compensation exercise on behalf of the American pharmaceutical company, said it was being faced with a big challenge.

Pfizer ‘ll not deal with association but individual
The body said it has presently received over 600 applications from Kano citizens who claimed they were part of the test and ought to be compensated as well.

But the counsel to Pfizer Inc, Chief Anthony Idigbe, SAN, had indicated that they have the files and documents which contained medical records and photos, the gender of each participant in the test and that they would use their data record to ascertain the claims of those that approach them for compensation.

Said the company: “The records will be very helpful. The tests by doctors to determine the real patients will be at no cost to those who have come to make claims” just as it noted that “they are free to form association but we are not dealing with associations but individuals”.


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