PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS: Senators Push for Pediatric Testing
Hoping to "make pediatric testing of psychiatric drugs a priority," Sens. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) are urging the FDA and NIH to push drug companies to increase testing of such drugs in young children. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the number of stimulants and anti-depressants prescribed for preschoolers doubled -- and in some cases tripled -- between 1991 and 1995. Although researchers are doing some studies on psychiatric drugs, the lawmakers say that "none of them are being conducted on children under age seven," adding that "little is known about the long term effects of these drugs on the cognitive, social and emotion development" of children. Dodd said, "Forcing children to accept 'hand-me-down' medicines is dangerous and unacceptable." Dodd and DeWine introduced legislation in 1997 that would extend exclusive marketing rights to companies that study the effects of their products on children (CongressDaily/A.M., 3/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.