This post was going to solely focus on Glaxo's involvement in the AIDS-related drug tests on parentless children in a home for kids with HIV, known as the Incarnation trials.
Sadly, news has just broke of yet more shenanigans by Glaxo, this time from their Verona HQ in Italy.
Glaxo, it appears, have been accused of holding 32 beagle dogs against their will, something which they claim "has no basis in fact" on their Facebook page. 
I'll write about the beagles first then move on to the Incarnation trials.
Browndog is an organisation set up to end all experiments on dogs in the UK. I recently joined their Facebook page as news is filtering through that protesters have gathered outside Glaxo's HQ in Verona, Italy. It's alleged that Glaxo hold 32 beagles for experimentation.
This from the Glaxo Facebook page:
However, Browndog, seem to think otherwise and have posted a recent photo from outside the Verona plant. 
Whatever the case may be, Glaxo's Facebook page has been inundated with messages of protests by dog lovers far and wide. It's easy to see why there is such a hoo-har given that beagles are a much loved breed of dog. Here's one undergoing some sort of test 
Glaxo and the Incarnation trials
So, what exactly were the Incarnation trials and how are GlaxoSmithKline linked?
Well, at the time of the breaking news Glaxo were, through various media releases, named as one of the sponsors in a pretty shameful trial going on at the Incarnation Children's Center [ICC] in New York.
In 2004, Liam Scheff, an investigative reporter, had gained access to information that foster children at ICC had been subjected to experimental AIDS drug trials. Scheff learned that children were removed from their guardians who had refused to give those they had adopted drugs that were making the children sick. He also learned that children who could not tolerate swallowing the drugs were coerced [forced] to have plastic tubes surgically inserted in their stomachs to ensure that the drugs were administered.
Two days ago I finally managed to track down the BBC documentary, "Guinea Pig Kids", first broadcast on BBC television on Tuesday, 30 November, 2004. The half-hour long documentary, made by Liam Scheff, is harrowing viewing. I've provided the documentary in its entirety at the foot of this post.
If you are looking for an all out attack on Glaxo you'll be disappointed. In fact they are only briefly mentioned. This from the narrator of Guinea Pig Kids, Amanda St John:
In a mass grave owned by the Roman Catholic Church close to Manhattan, over a thousand children’s bodies, including some who were enrolled in the trials, lie beneath a tarpaulin. Officially their deaths are recorded only as resulting from ‘natural causes’.
For months, we tried to get answers from those behind the trials – from Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, where many of the tests were devised. From Incarnation Children’s Centre. From the Catholic Church. And from the ACS; the authority ultimately responsible. None would comment.
The drug companies which have supported trials at Incarnation include some of the world’s largest. Among them Britain’s own GlaxoSmithKline.
They also refused to be interviewed for this program saying only that all trials have stringent standards and are in compliance with local laws and regulations.
You have to watch the documentary to see exactly what Glaxo are suggesting "are in compliance with local laws and regulations." It's pretty grim viewing.
Pay particular attention to what Jacklyn Hoerger has to say. Hoerger was a pediatric nurse who worked at Incarnation for five years.
If they were vomiting, if they lost their ability to walk, if they were having diarrhea if they were dying; that all of this was because of their HIV infection and to be expected and that we were doing the best we could to save them from that.
It didn't come as my first thought at all to question the medication and since I had worked with pediatric AIDS for many years and had given the medication, I just faithfully gave it as I was told by the doctors.
Guinea Pig Kids also features a 15 year old boy who relives the experience of his time at the Incarnation Children's Center:
My friend, Jolice, she never, never ever liked to take her medicine. So they used to hold her down and force it down her throat. I tell her every single day, ‘please take your medicine; you don’t want a tube in your stomach’. But she didn't listen to me. That’s what she got. And my friend Daniel, he didn't like to take his medicine either and he got a tube in his stomach.
The Guardian newspaper broke the story in the UK, they wrote:
Orphans and babies as young as three months old have been used as guinea pigs in potentially dangerous medical experiments sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, an Observer investigation has revealed.
British drug giant GlaxoSmithKline is embroiled in the scandal. The firm sponsored experiments on the children from Incarnation Children's Centre, a New York care home that specialises in treating HIV sufferers and is run by Catholic charities.
The documentary, as you will learn, highlights how the drugs were being used on the kids just to test the 'toxicity' of Aids medications, one of which was Glaxo's AZT [also known as Zidovudine]
As far as I'm aware Glaxo have never been brought to task about their involvement in these trials. It begs the question, why?
Be they beagles, black or hispanic children, GlaxoSmithKline have a lot of unveiling if they are to be true to their word of clinical trial transparency.
Glaxo's major shareholders include, Dodge & Cox Stock, Royal Bank Of Canada, Invesco Advisers, Inc, Bank of New York Mellon Corp and Wells Fargo Bank NA.
Glaxo have also recently formed a partnership with F1 racing group, McLaren. Everybody's hero, Jensen Button, is supporting the GSK initiative. If only he knew...
Here's Guinea Pig Kids.
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