Drug Testing On Children: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Nic_machiavelli, Dec 4, 2002.

  1. Nic_machiavelli

    7+ Year Member

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    Should drug companies be forced to test drugs on children?

    NPR had commentary from a writer at BusinessWeek in which he argued that drug companies should be forced to test drugs on children. Evidently drug companies have lobbied successfully to prevent this from happening. His take on it was that it would cost to much.

    He mentioned in his commentary that there were "ethical issues" that we would have to grapple with should they be forced to test the drugs on kids, but that this was preferable than the current system.

    Do you agree? I don't.
    First, the current system in which all children are in fact experimental subjects is completely fair. If Bill Gate's kid get sick he or she will have the same chance of a bad drug interaction as one of my kids.

    Secondly, who is going to risk their children for scientific research? What kind of incentive would compensate parents for putting their children at risk? Personally, I'm afraid that such testing would occur in poorer areas of the country or world where money would be the incentive. That is a big ethical issue to "grapple with" and one which seems worse to me than the current system.

    Thanks for your input.
    Nic
     
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  2. manicmaven

    manicmaven all aboard the nerd train
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    I too heard that report on NPR this morning and was unnerved. I agree that the major issue one would be dealing with is the incentive for poorer families to make extra money by enrolling their children in these programs. Years ago, the US government tempted young children in poor families to join 'science clubs' where they would receive prizes and field trips in exchange for unknowingly injesting forms of plutonium in their cereal. I can't imagine how we could make the testing of pharmaceuticals on children ethical and safe.
     
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