• Sweden edition
 

Drugs "to be tested on children"

Published: 25 Nov 2004 19:56 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Nov 2004 19:56 GMT+01:00

Many drugs used to treat children in hospital are either not licensed for use on children or are prescribed outside the terms of their product licence. A newly published survey of paediatric wards in five European hospitals found that two-thirds of children admitted there were prescribed drugs that were unlicensed or 'off-label'.

"A small, and diminishing, proportion of the medicine which is prescribed to children has gone through clinical trials on children," said Professor Anders Rane at the department of clinical pharmacology at Karolinska Institutet to Svenska Dagbladet.

"That means that a lot of medicine is prescribed blindly, with no awareness of how it will influence the child."

The new proposal for a regulation, adopted by the European Commission in September, is designed to increase the EU-wide availability of high quality medicines made specifically for children.

About 100 million babies, toddlers, children and adolescents make up the 'paediatric population' of the EU-25, accounting for over 20 per cent of the EU's total population. Yet the European Commission argues that more than half of the medicines used to treat children in the EU have neither been specifically tested, nor authorised for use in children.

The European Network for Drug Investigation in Children looked at prescribing for 624 children admitted to paediatric units over four weeks in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.

They found that 39% of the 2,262 drug prescriptions given to children were 'off-label', with some children, of course, receiving multiple prescriptions. Over two-thirds (67%) of the 624 children studied received unlicensed or off-label drugs.

The new law will force medical companies to begin testing medicines intended for children, on children.

Professor Anders Rane told Svenska Dagbladet that the reason that drugs have not been tested widely on children in the past is partly to do with ethics - but mostly to do with cash.

"The main reason is that there is no economic incentive for the drugs companies to test medicine on children," said Rane.

However, a few months ago a US study showed that teenagers who were prescribed a certain anti-depressant were twice as likely to commit suicide. The Commission has concluded that market forces alone do not sufficiently stimulate the development of medicines that take into account the specific needs of children.

According to SvD, doctors back dealing with the problem by legislative means, comprising obligations, rewards and incentives.

Björn Wettergren, a consultant at the Academic Children's hospital in Uppsala told the paper that the medicine to be made available to children is currently decided by district committees, while doses are a fraction of the adult dose depending on the child's weight.

"That's not good," said Wettergren, "since children have a completely different metabolism and can experience different side effects to adults."

Sources: Svenska Dagbladet, Aftonbladet, Sharon Conroy, et al., "Survey of Unlicensed and Off Label Drug Use in Paediatric Wards in European Countries," British Medical Journal, January 8, 2000 euractiv.com

Lysanne Sizoo

Lysanne Sizoo is a certified Counsellor, specialising in bereavement, fertility and cultural assimilation issues. She also runs a support and discussion group for English speaking women. You can contact her on sizoo@swipnet.se, or 08 717 3769. More information on www.sizoo.nu.

Paul Rapacioli (paul.rapacioli@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
National
Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Summer has come to a definite end in Kiruna as residents of the northern town were greeted with a blanket of snow on Sunday morning. READ  

Elections 2014
Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart
Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson. Photo: Leo Sellén/TT

Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart

Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson has said that the election success of the Sweden Democrats is a "slap" in the face for the Stockholm establishment. READ  

National
Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis
Somali nationals taking part in a demonstration against deportations in Stockholm. File photo:Björn Larsson Ask/SvD/ TT

Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis

Three young men in southern Sweden suspected of attacking Somali refugees with stones and screaming "sieg heil" have been indicted on charges of racial agitation. READ  

National
Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Sweden is set to buck the European trend of rising air prices with fares expected to drop next year according to a new report. READ  

National
Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune
Eric Westerberg's homemade submarine Isabelle. Photo: PS.nu

Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune

A Swedish submarine enthusiast who spent over 3,500 hours making his own vessel has sold his prized possession for 705,000 kronor ($98,500) in an online auction. READ  

National
Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Police in northern Sweden have been reported to the Equality Ombudsman for describing a wanted suspect as having a "Roma appearance." READ  

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes
A political career for Zlatan? Some fans seem to want to see that. Photo: Peter Dejong/TT

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes

The Bilderberg Group, the Satanic Initiative and Adolf Hitler all received votes in Sweden’s general election, according to a list released by the country’s electoral authority. READ  

Sport
Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games
The Swedish team in action. Photo: TT

Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games

Sweden's capital has missed out on a chance to host any Euro 2020 games, with Copenhagen the only Scandinavian city among the thirteen winning locations. READ  

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests
Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of Uppsala, is the first woman to head the Swedish church. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests

A Swedish priest has been fired after telling his congregation that people who support female priests would be rejected by God - despite the fact that his own church is led by a woman. READ  

Analysis
Women set to dominate top post-election jobs
Margot Wallström (right) could become Stefan Löfven's new Minister of Foreign Affairs. Photo: TT

Women set to dominate top post-election jobs

Sweden could soon get a female Foreign Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt's ousted Moderate Party is preparing for its first woman leader and the grandmother of actor Hugh Grant's son is being tipped as Parliament's next Speaker. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Blog updates

20 September

How a Frog Can Save the Environment (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What we do we imagine when we think of children enjoying nature? Perhaps it’s fishing, marveling at lightning bugs on a muggy July day or blowing on the wispy petals of a dandelion to make a special wish. But perhaps most iconic of the playful innocence in childhood is hopping after and trying to catch..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

866
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN