Letter: Willing guinea-pigs

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The Independent Culture

Willing guinea-pigs

Sir: Gary Slapper (letter, 30 July) takes exception to the seeking of healthy subjects on whom to test new drugs by advertising in The Big Issue. But how many volunteers are willing to take a risk, however slight, without some recompense? Has Dr Slapper volunteered? How would he suggest we screen new drugs?

I remain amazed at the antagonism to the drug industry. I am immensely grateful that my friends are no longer dying of tuberculosis, my children are freed from polio, and a chest infection is not an imminent death threat. As a diabetic, my very existence is a tribute to the drug industry; and as a psychiatrist I am aware of how much the quality of the lives of the mentally ill have been improved.


London SE26