Patients from a private healthcare provider in Brazil were unaware that they would be ‘trial rabbits’ in a study of drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, without a proven effectiveness against Covid-19, a parliamentary inquiry heard.
A lawyer for a dozen whistleblowers, who worked for the medical group Prevent Senior, also told senators in Brasília on Tuesday that doctors there run the risk of being fired if they refuse to combine the medicine to people with the respiratory tract. prescribe disease.
The accusations were made during hours of testimony to a congressional inquiry investigating Brazil’s response to the coronavirus crisis, which claimed nearly 600,000 lives in the most populous country in Latin America.
Lawmakers in the committee are now focusing on Prevent Senior, after receiving a dossier that received evidence of alleged violation in the experimental use of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine along with azithromycin, an antibiotic, in Covid-19 cases .
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has promoted the use of such drugs as a form of ‘early treatment’ for respiratory disease, despite the absence of clinical evidence.
The complaints against Prevent Senior include data manipulation, a lack of transparency and the concealment of deaths of patients who participated in the study, according to the Senate’s website. It added that there were nine deaths during the study, but the authors mentioned only two.
Prevent Senior has vehemently denied all allegations. “These are unfounded allegations, based on messages that have been hacked or edited and leaked to the press and will be dismantled during the investigations,” the statement said.
Bruna Morato, the lawyer for the 12 doctors who worked at the company, said on Tuesday that the alleged practices show a lack of respect for people’s lives.
She claims that the implementation of the so-called ‘Covid kit’ of medicines within the healthcare group was intended to prevent hospitalization of patients and thus save costs.
Prosecutors in Sao Paulo have put together a task force to look into the allegations.
The parliamentary inquiry is expected to deliver a final report in the coming weeks that could include recommendations on criminal charges against Bolsonaro for his actions during the public health crisis. The right wing has violated the use of masks, faced locks and downplayed the importance of vaccines.