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Medical News and Perspectives
July 19, 2006

Laws Promote Pediatric Drug Development

JAMA. 2006;296(3):271. doi:10.1001/jama.296.3.271

Since 1997, as a result of 3 pieces of legislation, the labels of about 100 drugs marketed in the United States have been updated to include critical information about using the medications in children. In June, the European Union's parliament adopted similar legislation that will further promote pediatric drug research and provide more information about the effectiveness, dosing, and safety of various drugs in children.

These laws, heralded as breakthroughs for pediatric medicine, provide incentives and/or create requirements for drug companies to test their products in children and to update the medications' labels accordingly. The effort is helping redress a legacy of neglect in the area of pediatric pharmacology, which forced pediatricians to rely on data from drug trials in adults and then adjust doses based on weight.

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