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tv   BBC Newsnight  WHUT  November 4, 2012 8:00am-8:30am EST

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>> it was a storm that rocked america, bringing devastation to the eastern seaboard. we look back at the impact of hurricane sandy. >> i don't know what's going on. >> nobody was ready for this. this has never happened before, ever. >> i had an incredible view of the waves crashing over everything, was so enamored by it, i wasn't scared. >> india to conduct clinical trials how poor indians are being used as human guinea pigs. >> please don't do these trials on poor people. rich people can overcome these, but the whole family suffers. >> it's the technology that's set to transform the manufacturing industry. press control p and get lots of print on paper, but the pen, too. >> i think eventually it will completely transform the way products are made.
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>> hello. new york, the city that never sleeps. a good reason to stay awake. superstorm seaped shut down the subway system and stock exchange and the presidential election campaigning. it has been a shock to a country built on a belief in man's destiny to create a better world, but there are limits. mark was in the united states to see the devastation firsthand. >> welcome to hoboken, a poor city on the new jersey side of the hudson. places like this felt the worst of it and by the time we got there the water had already fallen by four feet. on the heights above power lines had been brought down across the street, bringing life to a halt. >> nobody was ready for this. this has never happened before, ever. i mean, it was devastating. all over. i have a house down the jersey
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shore that's underwater, they tell me. >> it's the jersey coast that took the worst battering. here the epicenter of the storm hit pulling buildings apart and sweeping the beach right over the community. >> the waves are coming, hitting on an angle from the south and just breaking over the seawall, pouring into the houses up front here and then into the streets. so i stayed up on the top, watched the incredible power of the ocean, then the full moon came out for about 15 minutes. it was surreal. i had an incredible view of the waves crashing over. at the time i wasn't sewn am mord by it, so -- so enamored by it, i was more scared. >> the poorest got hit hardest. we found the emergency services saving a homeless man, looking like a biblical character escaping a biblical torrent.
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he had waited it out on some high ground until rescue arrived. >> i don't know what's going on. what the hell is this? >> on monday night the hurricane hit new york, shorting out power supplies in spectacular fashion. in places the subway flood and one the city's hospitals bereft of electricity had to evacuate hundreds of patients. >> around 9:00 we lost our power. fortunately the hospital backup generators -- unfortunately the hospital backup generators also failed. we had to evacuate 215 patients in the midst of the hurricane. >> we had to evacuate patients from the hospital. but we heard that patients are being carried down the stairs because the elevators weren't working. >> in many states, not least washington, d.c., the damage was minimal.
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this crisis hardly matches up to 9/11. but new york is once again at the center of a national drama. and the proximity of election day only emphasizes more strongly what's at stake. >> pharmaceutical companies are piling into india. hundreds of the indians who took part have died during trials and very few autopsies have been carried out to determine the cause of death. doctors have been fined and now the independentian government is considering tightening things up. >> some locals call it neocolonialism. foreign drug companies using
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poor and illiterate indians as guinea pigs in drug trials. >> our family has been destroyed by this and the drug company should know it. >> the doctors who carry out the trials may be in denial. but they are now being disciplined. and lawyers are asking if we can trust the results of the trials. >> the global implication potentially would be whether those findings can be safely relied upon. >> india has obvious eye trackses to the foreign drug -- attractions to the foreign drug companies. there are educated, english-speaking doctors, and a vast population from which to choose trial subjects, all of whom are required under indian law to give their informed consent.
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>> i put my thumbprint on the document and my daughter-in-law signed in hindi, but the form was in english, so we couldn't understand everything. >> but that was enough for a 3-day-old healthy boy to be given a trial polio vaccine. he had a severe adverse event which was recorded by the hospital. four days later his family says he still has breathing and eating problems. this baby is more than one of 80 patients who the records show was severely affected in the trials in this town, most of which took place here at the main hospital. the families of the dozens who died might have never known their loved ones were ever on a trial, were it not for a doctor here at the hospital who turned whistleblower. >> the clinical trial subjects
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don't know the meaning of clinical trials. these doctors, they are making money and they are making huge amounts from the pharmaceutical companies. they are interested only in money. >> after he challenged his colleague he lost his job at the hospital. i set out to find some of the families of those who died. there have been local investigation noose the deaths, but there have been no autopsies, so there can be no certainty that the drug trials are to blame. and there is no compensation for the families. one thing that all of them are agreed on -- none of the trial subjects knew they were being given experimental drugs. the death of chandra during a trial has, said her family, left them destitute. when she went into the hospital with chest pains the 45-year-old was the main breadwinner. >> normally when we go to the
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hospital we're given a voucher, but they said they would give my mother-in-law a foreign drug costing 125,000 rupees. i am surprised. we are from a low cast, so this is expensive treatment for the likes of us. >> but her mother-in-law reacted so badly during the drug trial that she was taken off it, and she died a month later. the trial, which was registered in the u.k. by the drug company was later halted due, says the company, to the number of seizures recorded. the family blamed her death on the doctor who carried out most of the trials at the hospital. as i visited more families, i found people here no longer have an unquestioning faith in the medical profession. she also took her husband to
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the hospital with chest pains. she, too, was pleasantly surprised at how they were treated by the doctor. >> he said you're poor. that's why i'm paying for your transport costs to come and collect the medication. i know you can't afford it. >> but when her husband died, the doctor blamed her for failing to give him the correct dose, which she denies. the doctor refused my request for an interview, so i went to the hospital to find him. the state government has charged him a unlawfully accepting money and trips abroad from foreign drug companies and for carrying out trials without consent.
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when i arrived at his office closely followed by security guards, he was not in the mood for talking. >> doctor, can we talk to you at another time? >> you are to leave this building at this time. this is an office. >> that was my attempt to talk to the doctor, who has been top of the list as far as the allegations over the drug trials are concerned. little wonder he's a little media-shy. >> so who is in charge of the doctors? there is a doctor head of the ethics company, whose job it is to approve and to supervisor drug trials at n.y. hospital. so how did it all go wrong? >> we never say that we are infallible. our limitations are known to us
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and to everyone around. suddenly because there's a lot of money being -- >> are you saying you're losing control? >> in a way, yes, from what is coming up and waste expected. -- what is expected. >> but it's not just the hospital here. a recent parliamentary report suggests that the entire country could be losing control over drug trials, not least because india has only half the number of qualified drug inspectors needed to cope with demand. still in another state i found more irregularities in the trials. this is a town whose name will forever be linked with the world's worst industrial accident when an explosion of the union carbide plant caused some 20,000 deaths.
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the only good thing to come out of the disaster was this -- a state-of-the-art hospital built as part of a compensation agreement. >> the memorial hospital was built to treat those who are still suffering from the disaster, some half million locals who were affected. but little did they know that when they came to the hospital some of them would be used for india's clinical drug trials. he told me his sight was damaged in the accident. five years ago he suffered a heart attack and went to the memorial hospital. his discharge papers show that he was part of a trial by a british company. astrazeneca revealed that routine monitoring revealed a few of the trial subjects had not given proper consent but they say that he was not one of them. he says he was not told about the trial and that it affected
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him badly. >> no, i haven't heard of as tra zen cafment but i want to say this to them -- please don't do these trials on poor people. rich people can overcome their problems, but if i can't work the whole family suffers. why did they choose us? >> why indeed. a professor helped set up the memorial hospital and served on the ethics committee. >> these trials are carried out for the benefit of those individuals who are suffering from particular diseases, and there is a dug which can give them relief. >> but haven't these people suffered enough already? they have survived one of the worst industrial accidents in history and now they're being put at risk in a drug trial. >> you would block the development of medicines for all-time to come. >> why choose -- >> can you ever, ever find out that this drug is likely to carry -- to produce such a side
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effect without using it? >> but why choose -- >> that's a question i cannot answer because it was not my job to find out. >> his father was also a gas victim who was given drugs by the hospital after a haveraget when his father ran out of the drug -- heart attack when his father ran out of the drug. when he ran out of the medicine he tried to buy some more. >> i went to the market to buy some but i was told that it was only available in the hospital and only then did i realize he was in a drug trial. >> there are investigators for the trial. the doctor told us that they bought the rights to the drugs
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while the trial was being carried out by a french company , a collaborator on the document. he told us that the trial was in fact conducted through an indian research organization. >> the drug trial setup can be complicated. drug companies might team up with medical research bodies and they will delegate the work to what in india are called clinical research outsourcing companies. when there have been allegations of malpractice in the past the drug companies have tended to put the blame on those local companies. ♪ >> lawyers are now talking about the carrier's liability. and there's a british barrister who cared to look into it.
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he had just got hold of a damning parliamentary report which claimed that some doctors carrying out drug trials in so-called experts had simply signed the opinions written by the invisible hand of drug manufacturers. >> there are real concerns about, at the very least, collusion between experts and the drug manufacturers, and at worst, it's suggesting that there is a fraud taking place, that these reports are being signed off without any independent clinical scrutiny of their findings and the way in which conclusions have been expressed. >> the drug companies argue that they carry out many trials in different countries concurrently. but by the end of this year thousands of people in india will have taken part in trials and their reaction, real or otherwise, would have been
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taken into account. two days after my encounter with doctor barani, i read that he had been transferred from m.y. hospital. nearly every day the papers expose more of the scandal, which does little to comfort those who may never know why their loved ones died and for whom compensation is a remote prospect. >> sue lloyd roberts there. astrazeneca has told us that in conducting clinical trials we applied quality standards regardless of the location, which have to be followed by ourselves as well as third parties working on our behalf. by yo jen told us in the 50 countries they have conducted clinical trials they have conducted to the highest ethical standards and patients, regardless of where they reside, are treated with the utmost care and respect. glaxo-smith-kline said patient safety is their absolute
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number-one priority and "we conduct our clinical trials to the same high scientific and ethical standards, following strict international guidelines, no matter where in the world they are run." now, we are told we're in the throes of a second industrial revolution in which the application of science utterly transforms the way we do almost everything. one of the latest transformative technologies is 3-d printing. it sounds absurd, it sounds impossible, but it promises to refashion whole arias of design. -- whole areas of design. >> due to the crafted objects made with care and great precision, they haven't been scrupted, or machine pressed. a different process has been employed. this is 3-d presenting. -- printing.
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>> at the design studio in london they can not only conceive products, they can make them, thanks to a technology that is falling in price and so becoming more accessible. it allows you to make just about anything. i'm being scanned with software, then building a precise template of my face. that will then be used to print out a 3-d me. so i've been scanned. what's next in the process? >> we prepare it into a print-ready file and we take you over here to this machine. >> you don't have to send it off to a factory somewhere? >> no, right here. it's an office-friendly machine that sits in a corner. and this will print your file layer by layer. it's a whole new way of producing particular customized objects.
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>> the process is also called additive manufacturing, because it involves building up layer by layer, rather than pressing them out. right now a limited range of materials can be used. plastics and resins. but the first metal printers are now emerging. however, there's a big fall in prices that's driving takeup. in 2002 even a budget 3-d printer might have cost 20,000 pounds. today you can get a desktop device for under 1,000. and the range of objects that the technology can deliver keeps expanding. in the medical world it's being used in dental work, and this is a replacement jawbone built out of titanium powder. the fashion industry is experimenting. here's a 3-d printed bikini.
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this flute came out of the printer, though it needs some fine tuning. and at a university they're even printing concrete and exploring how the construction industry might be transformed. >> for some, this is a revolution that starts at home. >> the great drive for me is to improve the quality of home 3-d printing. >> in his home in southeast london paul cannedler devotes much of his time to his passion for 3-d printing. he's proud that he's adapted his machine to print in layers of just 20 microns, a 50th of a millimeter thick. >> long ago people thought you wouldn't have a computer in every single home. you certainly wouldn't have a printer in every single home. now every home has at least one printer. when you get to the stage where you literally have to load a
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file, press a button, that will be the stage where they will become mainstream. >> paul is part of an online movement which uploads and shares designs for other 3-d printer hobby evts to download. but therein lies a looming problem. any revolutionary technology provides opportunities and threats. just ask the music industry. as 3-d printing becomes more commonplace, the value of the digital designs fed into the printers should rise, but so will the threat of piracy. once your designs have escaped on to the internet, there's nothing to stop anyone, anywhere, from printing out your products without your permission. so one industry should benefit from the rise of 3-d printing, and that's the patent lawyers. >> the negligent stage beyond this is to create a mold. >> these are rare artifacts from the fitzwilliams museum or rather replicas.
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ownership of the scans which produced these objects could be very valuable. but one leading designer thinks the new technology could also help outwit the copiers. >> the time to marketplace will be much quicker and that's crucial, where you need to get out there quickly and take advantage of your invention before someone copies it. >> at the royal college of arts new dyson building some graduates are being helped to turn student ideas into real products. 3-d printing is already an essential part of making prototypes. soon it could transform how products are manufactured. >> you could be independent. you don't need toolmakers, molders, casters, you can do it all yourself with a relatively simple, i hope, machine, so you can make things all over the place. you could make them very locally to each country that you're selling in. so you could get rid of freight costs and import duties and all those sort of things. so i think eventually it will
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completely transform the way products are made. >> from the hobby evident -- hobbiest experimenting at home, 3-d printing appears to be advancing on all fronts. just like virtual reality in the 1990's, it's the subject of huge, perhaps inflated, expectationings. but its example upon enter believe that this will deliver on its promises. >> that's all for this week. from all of us, goodbye. >> make sense of international
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news at >> funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation. use their expertise in global finance to guide you through the business strategies and opportunities of international commerce. we put our extended global network to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you 1234
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