The need for sustainability in supply chains is not limited to consumer goods. It is also relevant to the pharmaceutical industry. All too often, drug companies disregard public health priorities, and engage in unethical research and marketing practices. In 2016 SOMO, along with Public Eye, Wemos, Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and Shamseya for Innovative Community Healthcare Solutions, published the joint report, Industry-sponsored clinical drug trials in Egypt: Ethical questions in a challenging context.
The report revealed violations of international ethical standards, Egyptian law, as well as the codes of conduct of companies conducting clinical trials in Egypt. Most Egyptians lack access to standard medical treatment. Their limited health care options make them vulnerable testing subjects, raising questions about the consent process. Since the report, Egyptian policymakers have engaged in dialogue with SOMO’s partners around a new law to govern clinical trials. The report also resulted in questions from members of the European Parliament to the European Commission and the European Medicines Agency about inspections.