they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. It becomes even more depressing because it puts more than one face on the problem and allows us to see the issue through someone who experienced it firsthand. The outbreak was not reported in the West but it did not go unnoticed. Enter your email to follow new comments on this article. Believing there is something behind the murder, he seeks to uncover the truth and finds an international conspiracy of corrupt bureaucracy and pharmaceutical money. But Trovan had never been tested on children. The companies are not obliged to disclose a lot of information about how they test or make their drugs. continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates.  The book is dedicated to Yvette Pierpaoli, a French activist who died during the course of her aid work. The infection spread quickly through the cramped slums of the city and within weeks thousands of children were ill. But in truth, the industry's biggest cost is marketing. Since the trial, Anas has had a pain in his knee which X-rays showed was inflamed and which prevents him from running. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. At the center of this conspiracy is the idea that pharmaceutical companies use African people to test drugs which are destined to become huge profit-earners in the West. Only later when he examined a card he was given did he realise that Anas had been included in a trial of the new drug Trovan. On all three levels, the film succeeds, especially with the latter. Beautiful souls to beautiful bodies - how appropriate! External Reviews But the thing is, both were based on reality, on a case that Altschuler has been fighting for eight years against Pfizer Inc. This book was about 300 pages too long. Justin Quayle is a quiet, reserved man, necessarily conservative in his behavior as befits a British diplomat, while his wife Tessa can barely restrain her zeal for reforming a corrupt system where the victims are poor women and children. The beginning was slow, and seemed like something my Dad might read; something mundane and unoriginal with cheap thrills. His story was told in the Channel 4 documentary Dying for Drugs, broadcast in 2003, which alleged that Pfizer had failed to obtain informed consent from the parents of the children tested, and had back-dated a letter granting ethical approval for the trial from the ethics committee of the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital. The U.S. military forces in Rwanda seem far more interested in providing training for the blood-stained RPF [Rwandan Patriotic Front] than in helping the unfortunate people of that nation." Justin Quayle, a British diplomat in Nairobi, Kenya, is told that his activist wife, Tessa, was killed while travelling with a doctor friend in a desolate region of Africa. The beginning was slow, and seemed like something my Dad might read; something mundane and unoriginal with cheap thrills. Independent Premium. The crimes of the pharmaceutical industry – from the price protection of Aids drugs which have denied life-saving medicines to millions, to the cover up of lethal side effects to protect profits – are well documented. Be the first to ask a question about The Constant Gardener. Six years earlier, Anas was a patient in a trial of a new drug run by one of the world's biggest companies. As with dramas of this kind – such as the 1999 film, The Insider, which detailed the perfidious dealings of the tobacco industry – it raises the question of how far fiction resembles fact. A love story told from a unique perspective, the plot extends through corruption, murder and how international corporations influence government and value peoples' lives by the currency of their relative media value. FAQ Log in to update your newsletter preferences, Monday - Friday plus breaking news alerts by email. Big Pharma's enfant terrible, Marcia Angell, reviewed the tome in the NY Review of Books and said this: But le CarrÃ© himself cautions us against drawing any such conclusions. Her husband solves the mystery. A love story, a political story, a relevant story , all wonderfully told, Excellent Cinematography - Good Plot - Disappointing Direction. our couple are shown having beautifully-photographed sex. After watching it and reading other background material that Meirelles had given him, Ralph Fiennes said: “There are huge questions about Big Pharma. It also focuses on the diplomatic life in an African country right before the colonial regime changed into sort of a more local one. What follows is a husband’s quest on the road to the truth. His uses of location settings, editing, camera movements, close-ups and the actors' non-verbal language add to the starkness of the story and support his style of execution. He tackles a highly sensitive and complex set of issues. The words used to justify these prices are “research and development”. It is much more than that. And le Carre's writing and descriptive powers are masterful! Yes, I know this all happened in 2005, but how is it that we still aren’t pissed-off. Lawyers seeking damages for the children involved in the Trovan trial obtained a letter sent by Pfizer’s childhood diseases specialist, Dr. Juan Walterspiel, protesting strongly about it. For tuberculosis sufferers, Dypraxa was supposed to be the Holy Grail. A fitting ending for this one, I'd say. We’d love your help. So far, out of all the LeCarre books that I have read at this point, this has been one of my favourites. "We had an entertaining lunch in which we were all frothing about the pharmaceutical industry," said Woods, who last week won a commission from Channel 4 to make a follow-up film. Are you sure you want to submit this vote? I know an Iraqi guy who told me that in England, when people find out that he is Iraqi, they almost always apologise - "I'm so, so sorry". Why, he asked me, do they do that? This was a good book - it exceeded my expectations, and ended up a worthy 4 stars. There are alot of implications. Most liked, -1) ? 3 stars because of the beginning. His father, Mohammed, said his son was given a drug by “a doctor from overseas” and put to bed. Le Carre readers must have asked themselves this question. Here's the text of a Pfizer press release from the time, which, unfortunately, is the only evidence I could gather that isn't behind a pay wall. Intelligent and moving political thriller that should be held right up there with "All The Presidents Men" and "The Killing Fields " as one of the best political thrillers ever made. Based on John Le Carre’s 2001 novel of the same name, the film can be variously experienced as primarily a mystery/thriller, an expose of the pharmaceutical industry, an expose of Western statecraft’s … Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when First published on February 17, 2009 / 9:39 PM. It chartered a plane to Kano with a new drug called Trovan that was a potential life-saver and a potential billion-dollar profit earner. Powered and implemented by FactSet. The Constant Gardener 11 Questions | By Misslawler | Last updated: Jan 24, 2013 | Total Attempts: 160 Questions All questions 5 questions 6 questions 7 questions 8 questions 9 questions 10 questions 11 questions The company reacted swiftly. At the time of her death, Tessa, an activist and passionate campaigner, was on the verge of uncovering a conspiracy involving the testing of a new drug. I was both compelled and horrified by what I learned about pharmaceutical companies. I walked away from The Constant Gardener wondering how drug companies actually bench test their drugs. Election Day could turn into "Election Week" with rise in mail ballots. It is difficult to find fault with this book, so I won't try. In the 60’s I distinctly remember reading two of the authors earlier books. Six years earlier, Anas was a patient in a trial of a new drug run by one of the world’s biggest companies. Right at the start, mention is made of ‘the sensational case of a young Englishwoman who had been hacked to pieces 10 years ago’ — a clear reference to the Julie Ward case. try again, the name must be unique, Please What happens if the president doesn't accept the election results? Mohammed assumed the doctors who treated his son were from Médecins Sans Frontièrs, an independent medical organization, who had arrived several weeks before the Pfizer team. The film opens in a remote area of northern Kenya where Tessa Quayle (played by Rachel Weisz), the wife of a British diplomat, has been murdered. The Infectious Diseases Hospital in Kano was under siege from desperate parents who brought their dying children begging for help. So, from this unpromising material, Meirelles has made a truly awful movie. But Jeremy Laurance reports that away from the Hollywood script is a true story of how multinational drug companies took liberties with African lives with devastating consequences. Quite early on, I realized that I can predict pretty much everything, the themes as well as the events that were to take place, but as it happens, it didn't bother me that much. Slow tension building thriller that is charge even more with the great performances of Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes, who both bring an essence of realism to their roles and a sense of chemistry that is really not found in movies like this anymore. Her travelling companion, a local doctor, has disappeared, and the evidence points to a crime of passion. As he says himself in the acknowledgements, in comparison to real life, his revelations are as 'tame as a picture postcard'. Weisz is strong willed and obsessive and Fiennes is determine and endearing and both of them compliment each other with there destine to be award winning chemistry and acting chops. Who can say? Meirelles, whose Brazilian background gave him a strong interest in the issue of first world/Third World exploitation, distributed copies of Dying for Drugs to cast members, and it had the desired effect. Dr Walterspiel set out eight grounds for opposing the trial including the fact that Trovan had "not been tested for its sensitivity before the first child was exposed to a live-or-die experiment." Rather than help the trial subjects and begin again with a new drug, KVH covered up the side effects and improved the drug only in anticipation of a massive multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis outbreak. The most insightful comments on all subjects The pharmaceutical industry is bracing itself for criticism when the film ‘The Constant Gardener’ opens next month. A second case of dubious practice by the pharmaceutical industry also has echoes in The Constant Gardener. She brings a sense of playfulness, mystery and strong will that has not been giving by an actress in the last few years. Even going as far than to destroy human life to achieve their goals. Directed by Fernando Meirelles, of City of God fame, it is a thriller, a love story and a blistering attack on the drugs industry and the way it carelessly expends the lives of innocent citizens in the Third World in the quest for billion-dollar medicines to sell to the first world. The murder of a diplomat's wife under mysterious circumstances is the crux of John LeCarre's complex political thriller THE CONSTANT GARDENER. The Constant Gardner by John le Carre. Trovan was not used in the US because it caused side effects including joint pain. Trovan was later withdrawn from the market for unrelated reasons, after it was linked with a number of deaths of patients from liver damage. I loved it; I don't know that I've enjoyed a book more (although I've liked some as much).
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