Tragedy: Pfizer, Group Pleased With Payments To 4 Qualified Claimants

Source: THEWILL. - thewillnigeria.com
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SAN FRANCISCO, August 14, (THEWILL) – Drug giant Pfizer weekend said it was pleased that the first set of qualified claimants have received monetary compensation from the Healthcare/Meningitis Trust Fund following the tragedy that occurred in 2006 during its Trovan clinical trial.

“We are pleased that these four individuals, the first group of qualified claimants of the

Healthcare/Meningitis Trust Fund, have received compensation. This is the first step in a multiphase review process by which the independent Board of Trustees that manages the Fund will deliver payment to all other qualified claimants.

“We congratulate the Board on reaching another milestone in the implementation of the settlement agreement reached by Kano State and Pfizer. We thank them for their commitment and dedication to seeing this process through in the most timely and transparent way possible,” the company said in a statement.

The independent, six-member Board of Trustees that manages the Healthcare/Meningitis Trust Fund continues the process of reviewing at least 547 claims to determine the eligibility of claimants.

Despite the number of claims, there were only 200 participants in the 1996 Trovan clinical trial, Pfizer stated.

Under the July 2009 settlement agreement, the Board - not Pfizer or the Kano State government - will make the final determinations on eligibility of the claimants and, if applicable, the level of financial support they will receive.

Mens Sana Commends Trovan Payments

On the heels of the commencement of compensation payments to successful claimants in the Trovan settlement process in Kano, the civil society group, Mens Sana, has commended the Meningitis Board for keeping faith with its promises.

In a press release signed by its National Coordinator, Hajiya Muslima Kadi, the organization noted with satisfaction that the orderly process of DNA verification followed by actual payment of compensation in line with the settlement terms was indicative of the determination of all those involved to work together for amicable conclusion of the settlement process. It observed that the decision on who qualifies for compensation and the level of financial succor was that of the Board and not that of Pfizer or Kano State Government.

According to Hajiya Kadi, “having monitored the Trovan saga from the beginning, we are delighted that both the process of compensation payment and the construction of the Healthcare medical complex are on course and we congratulate all concerned.”