Big Pharma Looking to Use Tour de France for Clinical Trials

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The recent cases of doping in the Tour de France, including allegations involving past winners Floyd Landis and Alberto Contador, have raised interest from pharmaceutical companies looking to test drugs during the world's biggest cycling event. "It's a great opportunity," says a spokesman for Merck. "In the three weeks of the Tour we can test hundreds of products in human subjects." The US-based Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has vowed to be on the lookout. "We are monitoring the trials together with the industry," says an FDA official. "After all, the Tour de France is now the world's most ambitious clinical trials program."

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