KMT’s Lo questions Ko’s ethics

By Chi-hao James Lo ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — According to the Chinese-language United Evening News, Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) yesterday accused independent Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) of treating his patients as experimental subjects while Ko led the Surgical Intensive Care Unit Team (SICU) at National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH). Reportedly, Lo is in possession of a transcript that contains publications and statements that can be found on NTUH’s SICU Joint Network (急、重、創聯合網) webpage. Lo pointed out that in the Health Education Corner (衛教園地) of the website, a clinical trial declaration states that the SICU seeks to become the “tip of the Great China market,” whereby the department will seek to conduct clinical trials at NTUH for newly developed drugs from Western countries. Members of the NTUH SICU team could potentially become product spokespersons or seed instructors for the said medications and expand them into the mainland Chinese market. The declaration also says that the NTUH SICU is not striving for post-market trials, but rather phase II and phase III trials in earlier trial periods. The latter part of the statement says that the focus point of the clinical trials will center on the effects the drugs would have on people of Chinese ancestry, as well as the introduction of the medication into the Chinese market, rather than simple market promotion.

Lo Questions Meaning of Clinical Trial Statement In her statement to the United Evening News, Lo questioned both the meaning and intention of the declaration, asking if it meant for local patients to become experimental subjects for the sake of mainland China. Lo also questioned where the funding would come from and who would manage the said funds should the SICU become the new drug spokespersons or seed instructors. Lo also accused Ko of taking on research outside the NTUH system, which would have enabled Ko and his team of doctors to receive NT$50,000 in subsidies, and that even his assisting nurse could receive NT$5,000 as a subsidy. However, other nurses who were part of the research received no such benefits, and said that Ko treated some nurses unfairly.

Taipei Mayoral Hopefuls Respond to Opponents’ Policies In related news, Ko and KMT Taipei mayoral candidate Sean Lien (連勝文) both responded to the policies proposed by each other on Thursday. Ko approved of Lien’s plans to relocate the city’s First Funeral Parlor during a public appearance Thursday night, but stated that the plan to construct community apartments lacks consideration of Chinese traditions, taboos and superstitions. Instead, Ko said, the property could be reconstructed into a public park or a local museum, to beautify and upgrade the look of the area. Lien also responded to Ko’s preliminary transportation reform plans by traveling around Taipei’s east side yesterday on a YouBike. Lien said he has proposed to increase the current 160 stations in Taipei to 380, while extending the existing bike routes to 70 kilometers. Lien also stated that he would like to use the YouBike database to reward frequent users of the service with health-related benefits.