The Supreme Court today expressed concern over alleged illegal clinical trial of drugs in the country, saying its “unfortunate” that humans were being treated as “guinea pigs”.

A bench headed by Justice R M Lodha pulled up the Centre and the Madhya Pradesh government for not filing their response on PILs alleging large-scale illegal drug trials in the State and other parts of the country.

The bench said, “There has to be some sense of responsibility (on the part of the government).

“Human beings are being treated as guinea pigs. This is unfortunate,” the bench said granting the government and Medical Council of India eight weeks more time to file their replies.

The bench was hearing two PILs filed by a group of doctors and an NGO alleging that illegal and unethical clinical trials were being done on poor persons including juveniles, tribals and Dalits who were used as ‘guinea pigs’ for testing of drugs and vaccines produced by multinational corporations.

The petitioners had also urged the court to order formation a Committee of Experts, consisting of members of civil society especially, the All India Drug Action Network, to examine the present legal provisions concerning clinical trials both in India and abroad and to make recommendations for framing guidelines on the issue.