(Agence France-Presse) Niranjan Lal Pathak couldn’t believe his luck initially. When a doctor at a hospital in central India offered the factory watchman free treatment for a heart complaint, he jumped at the chance.

It was five years ago and the family of the 72-year-old says he didn’t realise that the Maharaja Yashwantrao Hospital in the city of Indore was about to enroll him in a trial of an untested drug.

“We were told that our uncle will be treated under a special project,” his nephew Alok Pathak told AFP over the phone from Indore, the largest city of Madhya Pradesh state.

“The doctor said we wouldn’t have to spend a penny. There was only one condition placed before us — that we should not approach local chemists if we ever ran out of his medicines but go straight to the doctor,” he said.

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