Neonates do not have access to medicines that have been adequately tested for dosing, safety, and efficacy.1 Physicians must use their best judgment to make up for these knowledge gaps, leading to incorrect, and possibly harmful, doses of unnecessary and expensive medications. Some experts even believe that it is difficult or unethical for research to be conducted in neonates.2 Neither of these beliefs are justified, and it is inappropriate to expose neonates to potential risk without conclusive evidence that the drugs they are receiving are safe and efficacious. Neonates must participate in all stages of drug development in trials that use contemporary methods, because the health care industry has an ethical duty to meet the needs of this population.3
Davis JM, Turner MA. Global Collaboration to Develop New and Existing Drugs for Neonates. JAMA Pediatr. 2015;169(10):887–888. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.1640
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