The Drug Trial: Emergency at the Hospital

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Project Details

  • DoP: Tom Hayward
  • Editors: Duncan Hill and Gregor Lyon
  • PD: Barbie McLaurin
  • Executive Producer: Richard Bond
  • BBC
  • February 2017

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On Monday 13th March 2006, eight healthy young men take part in a clinical trial of an experimental drug known as TGN1412. The drug is intended to treat leukaemia and has already been successfully tested on rats and monkeys but never on humans.

It’s supposed to be a routine clinical trial but turns out to be one of the most infamous incidents in recent British medical history.
Within an hour of receiving the drug, six of the volunteers are fighting for their lives.

A decade on, this BBC Two drama documentary tells the story of what really happened during these critical hours as medical staff fought to save their lives, and through the aftermath as the authorities sought to understand what had happened. Featuring candid personal testimony from doctors who struggled to bring the clinical catastrophe under control. The investigators tasked with discovering what went wrong. And the patients themselves.