Medicine: A Double Standard on Drugs?

Manufacturers are charged with abuses in the Third World

In the Philippines, chloramphenicol, a formidable antibiotic, is prescribed for infections ranging from flu to acne. The standard drug guide used by Filipino doctors does not carry warnings of a possible side effect: a deadly form of anemia.

In Kenya, doctors prescribe steroid hormones for use against such vague complaints as poor appetite, lack of stamina and listlessness. Taken continuously in very large doses, steroids have caused clitoral enlargement in young girls and beard growth and baldness in women.

In Indonesia, vendors sell clioquinol (brand name:...

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