Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Need For Licensed Medicines For Children Highlighted In Study

Date:
February 4, 2009
Source:
Queen's University, Belfast
Summary:
A new study has shown there is an urgent need for more children to take part in clinical trials to make sure medicines can be licensed for their safe and effective use.

A new study has shown there is an urgent need for more children to take part in clinical trials to make sure medicines can be licensed for their safe and effective use.

Related Articles


The study has been carried out by Professor James McElnay, a leading academic at Queen’s University Belfast.

Professor of Pharmacy Practice as well as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Postgraduates at Queen’s, Professor McElnay led a study which showed many people in Northern Ireland do not know medicines are being used outside their license to treat children.

The paper has been published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

A survey of 1,000 members of the public found that 86 per cent of respondents claimed that they had never heard or read about the unlicensed use of medicines in children.

Unlicensed medicine involves using medicines outside their license in terms of dose, the way in which they are administered or the age of the recipient.

At least one third of children in paediatric medical and surgical wards and up to 90 per cent of children in neonatal intensive care units are prescribed unlicensed medicines, according to previous European studies.

It is generally considered to be the role of the prescriber or the pharmacist to provide information to parents about the unlicensed use of medicines in their children without causing undue confusion or distress. But the study acknowledges that this can lead to a lack of trust which could influence the treatment negatively.

Views about the safety of children’s medicine

At the outset of the questionnaire, only 1.8 per cent of those involved felt the use of medicines in children was unsafe but after being told about unlicensed use of medicines the figure increased to over 62 per cent. 90 per cent of participants felt unlicensed medicines would increase the risk of side-effects.

Communication between the doctor and parents

92 per cent of participants felt parents should be informed about the use of unlicensed medicine in their child.

When asked what they would do if their children was prescribed such a medicine, 42 per cent said they would use the medicine but check the child carefully for side-effects, while 40 per cent indicated they would ask the doctor to change the medicine to one which has been fully tested and licensed for use in children. 18 per cent indicated they would simply accept that the doctor knew best.

Clinical trials in children

Many of those interviewed said they would be reluctant to involve a child in clinical trials which are necessary for medicines to gain a license. Only about four per cent said they would enter their own child into a trial if the child was in good health, while 42 per cent said they would agree if the child had a life-threatening condition and the medicine being tested was being used for that condition.

Professor McElnay said: “The situation regarding unlicensed use of medicines in children has received relatively little media attention and intuitively one would consider that children would be afforded more protection than adults regarding evidence based medicine.

“There is a lack of medicines available for children which have undergone the strict testing procedures which take place for adult medicines.

“This puts children at a disadvantage when compared to adults. There is a need for more clinical trials in children so that more licensed medicines are available.

“The relative lack of licensed medicines for use in children has been described as a breach of their basic human rights.

“Parents in some other countries get upset if their children are not included in clinical trials while in hospital, whereas in Northern Ireland there is sometimes a reluctance within parents to include their children in such trials.

“Further research needs to be carried out to explore some of these issues in more depth and I am leading a programme of research between the School of Pharmacy at Queen’s and neonatologists, paediatricians and pharmacists in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.”

Other academics involved include Tareq Mukattash, Dr Jeff Millership, Dr Paul Collier, all from the School of Pharmacy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen's University, Belfast. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Queen's University, Belfast. "Need For Licensed Medicines For Children Highlighted In Study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204085305.htm>.
Queen's University, Belfast. (2009, February 4). Need For Licensed Medicines For Children Highlighted In Study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204085305.htm
Queen's University, Belfast. "Need For Licensed Medicines For Children Highlighted In Study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204085305.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins