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Only 2 percent of child drug trials have independent safety checks
Date:3/18/2008

Only two per cent of paediatric drug trials reported using independent safety monitoring committees that can help lead to the early detection of adverse drug reactions, according to a major review published in the journal Acta Paediatrica.

Child health researchers from The University of Nottingham carried out a detailed analysis of 739 international drug trials published between 1996 and 2002, to see what safety measures were in place to monitor levels of adverse drug reactions.

While 74 per cent of the drug trials described how safety monitoring was performed during the study, only two per cent 13 studies out of 739 had independent safety monitoring committees.

Lead author Dr Helen Sammons, an Associate Professor of Child Health in the Universitys Academic Division of Child Health, based at Derbyshire Childrens Hospital, said: We were very surprised by the low level of trials that had independent safety monitoring committees and are urging pharmaceutical companies to include these in all future trials involving children.

It is essential that drugs are developed for use in children and clinical trials need to continue. They are vital because they increase the chance of picking up adverse reactions before drugs are introduced into general clinical practice.

Dr Sammons and her colleagues found that:

  • Seven out of ten trials reported adverse events and a fifth of the trials reported a serious adverse event, ie. an untoward medical occurrence, not necessarily related to a drug.

  • Adverse drug reactions were reported in just under 37 per cent of trials, with 11 per cent of trials reporting moderate or severe adverse drug reactions.

  • Six clinical trials which all had safety monitoring committees were terminated early because of significant drug toxicity.

  • Deaths were reported in 11 per cent of the trials, but the majority were thought to be unrelated to the drug use.<
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Contact: Dr. Helen Sammons
helen.sammons@nottingham.ac.uk
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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