Duke Study Calls For More Children's Drug Trials

Oct 1, 2012

Duke University doctors say clinical trials on how drugs affect children are few and far between. Gurnal Scott reports.

Doctors looked at research conducted from 2005 to 2010 -- about 60-thousand trials. They found that adult medical trials far outnumber ones on kids under 18.

"By about 10 to one," says one of the study's writers, Alex Kemper, a pediatrics professor at Duke. "For those of us who provide care to children, we know that clinical trials are the best way to know how to treat conditions.

The majority of existing studies focus on infectious diseases and mental health. Kemper says ethical considerations and parental permission requirements can slow down research into how pharmaceuticals work in children. He says the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health are among the organizations pushing for more kid-focused research.