The family was shocked to learn after his death that Nagaraju was secretly a clinical trial volunteer.

Clinical trial killed my father alleges shocked family of Telangana man who died mysteriouslyNagaraju
news News Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 06:54

The family of 39-year-old Vangara Nagaraju, a Telangana resident, had been worried for a few days ever since their father's return.

"He had just returned two or three days ago, and his left hand was swollen. He was also struggling to walk," says Vangara Jagdish, Nagaraju's son.

On the evening of June 2, Nagaraju, a resident of Nagampet village in Karimnagar district, collapsed at his residence and died. 

"We were shocked. We didn't know what to do. We had taken him to the local doctor before that, but even he didn't know what was happening," Jagdish says.

Nagaraju had died days after he allegedly returned from a clinical trial in Bengaluru's Lotus Labs. 

The family was shocked to learn after his death that Nagaraju was secretly a clinical trial volunteer. 

According to them, Nagaraju may have been doing it for several years and they didn’t have a clue.

"He never told us. We had no idea. He used to work at a hotel and we always thought that his travelling was related to that. When we checked some documents at home, only then we realised what he had been doing all these years," Jagdish says. 

Nagaraju is survived by his wife and three sons, two of whom are doing coolie work and the youngest is pursuing his bachelor’s degree.

Clinical trials are conducted in several phases, with each phase having several rounds, and each round lasting 24 to 48 hours.

Swamy Chowdary, another repeat volunteer told TNM that Nagaraju had died between two rounds. 

"He had finished the first round of the trial and was due to return for the second one. The lab conducting the trial must have botched it up, which led to his death," he alleges. 

The family too, points fingers at the lab. 

"My father was a healthy man and did not have any health issues. It is the clinical trial that killed him," Jagdish says.

On Wednesday, the family travelled to Bengaluru to meet officials from the lab and sought compensation from them. 

"The lab assured us of the payment that he had to receive for the entire trial, which was Rs 19,000 and also said that it would reimburse our travel cost to Bengaluru. But they are not answering properly and being unclear when we asked if we would get other compensation like insurance, for my father's death," Jagdish says. 

"My mother's health is also failing and we are a very poor family. We just want justice and an appropriate compensation from the company that took my father's life," Jagdish adds.

The family also plan to file a complaint with the Bengaluru police and take the legal route in the matter. 

While the family did not conduct an autopsy or medical exam after Nagaraju's death, as they had assumed it was a normal death, they claim to have all other documents related to the clinical trials that he had participated in. 

Bengaluru's Lotus Labs has not yet responded to TNM’s questions. 

Earlier this month, TNM had uncovered how WhatsApp groups were used to recruit several illiterate and poor men from various parts of the country and trap them into drug trials.

Read: There's a new tool to drag poor men into India's murky drug trials, WhatsApp: TNM Investigation