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UK Drug Trial Victim May Lose His Fingers, Toes

For the sole patient still hospitalized a month after a UK drug trial gone horribly awry, the news is now far worse than anyone ever expected. Londoner Ryan Wilson will spend the next six months in the hospital and stands to lose, at the very least, the tips of his toes.

Wilson was one of half-dozen patients enrolled in a drug trial for TeGenero's anti-inflammatory TGN1412 drug designed to treat leukemia, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. What Wilson was paid by TeGenero to test their harmful drug -- about $3,500 in U.S. dollars -- won't come close to compensating him for multiple organ failure, pneumonia and the loss of his toes and even his fingers.

As of now, Wilson and his doctors are in an uncomfortable holding pattern, waiting for his body to begin healing on its own. If doctors are correct, and his body heals optimally, his fingers may fall off on their own, not unlike frostbite.

Wish I could tell you Wilson's experience was an uncommon one, but it isn't. The 10,000 Vioxx lawsuits clogging up American courts certainly speak volumes on that score...

BBC News April 16, 2006

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