An ongoing investigation by the Vera Institute of Justice, has uncovered 59 additional New York City foster care children–between July and September–who may have been used in AIDS drug / vaccine trials in violation of federal regulations. This brings the tentative total number of mostly minority children involved, to 773.
These children were enrolled in the risky experimental trials in violation of federal regulations. They were used as experimental subjects without legal informed consent and without an independent advocate authorized to serve the children’s best interest. The Vera Institute investigation is charged with finding out not only how many children were involved in the experiments and to ascertain what happened to those children.
The investigation by the Vera Institute follows an investigation by the federal Office of Human Research Protections which was initiated by a complaint filed by The Alliance for Human Research Protection March 10, 2004: [Link]
The investigation, however, is being hampered by administrators of Columbia Presbyterian hospital, which had a major involvement in the experimental drug and vaccine trials. Despite repeated requests by the Vera Institute, Columbia administrators have thus far refused to provide access to the medical records of the foster care children who were enrolled in the trials. This is a demonstration of abuse of power by medical institutions that hugely benefit from taxpayer support.
In February, 2006, OHRP found Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) New York /Presbyterian Hospital in non-compliance with federal research protection regulations. See OHRP letter at: [Link]