By Sevita Verma
Despite finding serious flaws in the controversial cervical cancer study in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, which was halted after some deaths, the committee investigating the matter has chosen to exonerate the wrong doers, say activists.
The vaccination project on the human papilloma virus (HPV) was carried out among girls in the age group of 10- 14 years in the two states by PATH, an international NGO, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the state governments since 2007. There had been ambiguity on the nature of the project.
The committee, constituted by the government in April 2010 to look into the alleged irregularities in the study, has found a conflict of interest in the project.
“The fact that the vaccine for study was provided by the manufacturers free of cost does raise the concern about undeclared conflict of interest since the results of the study may be used to influence the decision by the government,” the interim report says.