Short Film Profile

Cobayas Human Test

24 hours have passed since clinical trials began on an important molecule (DMK300) on behalf of the international laboratories FarmMeridian. Ten young people were used as human guinea pigs in these trials. Phase 1 trials test drugs for safety and tolerability on humans after they have been tested on animals. They can mean an important advance in research to fight a serious illness. The alarm is sounded when Raquel - one of the young guinea pigs - comes back to the clinic only hours after she had left, with strange, serious symptoms, and Fran and Helena - two of the other human guinea pigs - don’t answer when attempts are made to locate them in order to submit them to an urgent control. Mr. Crowe, president in Spain of the biopharmaceutical multinational FarmMeridian, fearing a violent industrial espionage operation, and assuming that any error during the clinical trials period would paralyze the drug’s lengthy marketing process, resulting in losses running into millions, decides to activate the Special Safety Protocol in order to detect the clinical failure and locate the young people who are missing.

Film notes

Some points were decisive during the investigation and became fundamental in the storyline and structure.

Pharmaceutical companies invest millions of euros in the research and development of drugs which may never be marketed.

The pharmaceutical market moves some 200,000 million dollars a year, an amount greater than the profits earned from the arms trade. For every dollar invested in manufacturing a drug, a thousand are obtained on the international market.

Most of the clinical trials carried out during the most dangerous, initial phase are usually performed on healthy young people, far removed from the future patient model to whom the final drug will be administered. The main Third World countries which provide the human material for clinical trials rarely benefit from the drug obtained from the experiments to which they are submitted.

According to Amnesty International, over 25% of trials are carried out in developing countries.

The companies known as CRO (Clinical Research Organization, also referred to as “Body Hunters”) are responsible for recruiting human guinea pigs and carrying out clinical trials for pharmaceutical multinationals. The great demand for this work has made it into a lucrative business.

The major pharmaceutical companies have repeatedly been accused of using unscrupulous advertising practices in an attempt to persuade doctors to prescribe their products and convince consumers that they need them.

This film aims to denounce the lack of ethics and the ambition of the large pharmaceutical multinationals which put obtaining large financial profits before the work of eradicating diseases.




Copyright © 2014 Tharsis Films Entertainment & Thomas Frolik

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 25 Jul 2014