Three doctors and six nurses from Dobra Praktyka Lekarska, a private healthcare clinic in Grudziadz (Pomorskie voivodship) are facing criminal prosecution after more than twenty homeless people died following medical trials for a vaccine to a bird-flu virus developed by Novartis.
The trials were conducted in 2007 on around 350 homeless and poor people. According to prosecutors, they involved an untried vaccine to H5N1, a highly-contagious bird-flu virus. Twenty-one people died after being given the vaccine. Authorities claim that the alleged victims were told they were tested for a conventional flu vaccine.
Investigators are also probing the possibility that the medical staff may have also have deceived the pharmaceutical company that commissioned the trials. The suspects maintain that all those involved knew that the trial was for an anti-H5N1 drug and willingly participated.