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November 20, 1991

Delayed Testing, Tainted Transfusions Alleged

JAMA. 1991;266(19):2668. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470190014005

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IN 1985, French licensing authorities delayed use of an American-made test to detect antibody to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) virus while France's researchers developed and marketed their own antibody test. So says a report by Michel Lucas, France's inspector general of social affairs, who investigated this incident under pressure from several groups, including persons with hemophilia, who are demanding indemnity.

According to the report, Abbott Laboratories, Chicago, Ill, one of several companies in the United States that by late 1984 had developed tests for detecting antibodies to the AIDS virus, submitted an application for registration (licensure) of its test to the French National Laboratory of Health on February 11, 1985. On May 9, a meeting that included representatives from the ministries of health and industry discussed Abbott's application and one received by then from Pasteur (Institute) Diagnostics, Paris.

The result, the report says, was that the French licensed the