A widow is planning to sue drugs giant Wellcome, claiming that its anti AIDS drug AZT killed her HIV positive husband.
Susan Threakall of Birmingham alleges that her husband, Bob, a haemophiliac, died after the drug destroyed his immune system. He had been prescribed AZT by his doctor in August 1989 after becoming infected with HIV through treatment with contaminated blood products, and died 18 months later.
His widow claims he had been healthy before taking AZT supposedly to delay the onset of AIDS but once on the treatment his health steadily declined.
Mrs Threakall has been granted legal aid to bring her case, and a writ against the company is expected to be issued soon. Her solicitor, Graham Ross of the Liverpool law firm J Keith Park & Co, says: "If Bob Threakall's immune system was indeed irrevocably damaged by AZT, then the health of many thousands of other HIV positive people worldwide is under threat, not by their condition but by their treatment."
(See WDDTY vol 4 no 10, for a round up of the side effects of other medications being used, often on symptom free HIV positive patients.)