PBS Series Examines Ethics of Clinical Drug Trials, Including Testing of HIV/AIDS Medications
PBS stations nationwide beginning tonight will air an episode of the 15-part series, "Closer to Truth: Science, Meaning and the Future," titled "Testing New Drugs: Are People Guinea Pigs?," which focuses on the issues surrounding the development and testing of new drugs, including HIV/AIDS medications, and the ethics of clinical trials in developing countries. The series, which brings together leading scientists, scholars and artists to explore the latest scientific research and philosophical thinking, presents 30-minute "spontaneous and intimate" discussions moderated by Robert Lawrence Kuhn, vice chair of the Geneva Companies, a financial services company. Guests on the program will include Alexander Capron, director of the Pacific Center for Health Policy and Ethics and former chair of the U.S. Congress Biomedical Ethics Advisory Committee; Andrea Kovacs, associate professor of pediatrics and pathology and director of the HIV Family Clinic at University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine; and Robert Temple, associate director for medical policy and chair of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. The television program's Web site includes a glossary of key terms, as well as background information about the program participants. Check local PBS listings for show times (PBS release, 7/1).
The full transcript of the program is available online. A two-minute video excerpt from the program's discussion on clinical trials and pediatric HIV is available online in RealPlayer. A two-minute video excerpt of the program's discussion on drug trials in developing countries also is available online in RealPlayer.