A month after a Telangana man allegedly became victim of a botched up clinical trial, police are yet to make significant progress in the investigation.
39-year-old Vangara Nagaraju, a resident of Karimnagar had dropped dead on June 2 with a swollen hand, just after returning home from Bengaluru.
His body was exhumed more than two weeks after his death following a police complaint on June 16 and a post-mortem was conducted.
Preliminary investigations suggest that the medicine being used in the trials was a tablet to cure sleeplessness.
Speaking to TNM, the investigating officer P Prashanth Reddy said that it may take another two-three days for the forensic reports to arrive.
âWe have asked the drug company to submit all the communication which they shared with the victim. However, we will get the clear picture in the case once we acquire forensic reports," he said on Monday.
âWe are also looking into procedural and legal challenges in the case. Since the accused is a company, they will take all legal precautions to defend themselves,â the officer said.
Nagaraju was part of a clinical trial conducted by Bengaluru's Lotus Labs and his family had no clue about this. They knew about the trials only when they accessed documents from his bag, after his death.
"My father was a healthy man and did not have any health issues. It is the clinical trial that killed him," Jagdish, Nagarajuâs son had earlier told TNM on June 20.
"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," he had added then.
Following his death, his family had travelled to Bengaluru to approach Lotus Labs for compensation. But the only assurance they got was that the company will the full amount of Rs 19, 000 for the trial.
Meanwhile, All India Medical Volunteers Welfare Association has urged authorities to expedite the investigation and threatened to approach the National Human Rights Council.
âIt's already very late, the post mortem was held 17 days after the death, the govt should not delay the process further. All the culprits must be arrested and punished. Within four days we are planning to file a complaint with that National Human Rights Council," Swamy Chowdary All India Medical Volunteers Welfare Association president told TNM.
TNM could not reach Lotus Labs for a comment. The story will be updated as and when the company chooses to respond.
The Times of India reported that at least 370 people died in less than two years, from February 2013 to December 2014, while they were part of clinical trials, but only 21 of such cases were found to be eligible for compensation. However, experts note there is a severe lack of regulatory framework.