Last week, a website called the Daily Beast published a report that an offshore herpes vaccine test had taken place in St. Kitts and Nevis earlier this year.
In a statement Wednesday evening, the Ministry of Health and Social Services and the country’s chief medical officer have said that an investigation has begun into the project, but the cabinet, Ministry of Health, the Office of the chief medical officer and the St. Kitts and Nevis medical board were not approached about this project previously.
“None of these agencies has approved such a venture”, the statement said.
The Daily Beast, a US-based website, reported that the trial was funded by a group of wealthy ‘libertarians’, and had the backing of Southern Illinois University. The wealthy backers included prominent Donald Trump supporter Peter Thiel, who is also the co-founder of Paypal.
Reports state that at least US$7 million has been put into the trials.
The trial had been labelled “patently unethical” in the United States by the chief of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Centre’s Infectious Diseases Division, Jonathan Zenilman.
The leader of the St. Kitts and Nevis opposition Dr. Denzil Douglas, in a statement made to WIC News on the matter, said that he was directing questions to the current administration of the matter, accusing them of being in the know regarding the testing.
However, the St. Kitts and Nevis Ministry of Health has denied such allegations of having knowledge of the testing, stating they “will always ensure that all research involving human participants follow international standards which protect the safety and security of persons involved.”
No update has yet been provided on the investigation’s pogress.