Big Pharma Tests Drugs on the Homeless
Developing life-saving new drugs requires human tests, but should they be conducted on society’s most vulnerable members? Contracted research companies, which collectively make over $100 billion a year, often go straight to homeless shelters to find test subjects without insurance, incomes or strings attached. When testing drugs like antidepressants and antipsychotics, researchers seek out people with mental illnesses, offering paltry payment and no therapeutic benefits. Ethically, this is treacherous ground, but the confluence of private-sector interests means regulation is patchy at best.