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News drugs for children

MagazineDecember 2005 (Vol. 16 Issue 9)News drugs for children

Now that we're rid of those vitamins

Now that we're rid of those vitamins . . .The European Union is keen to bolster the profits of cash-strapped pharmaceutical companies. Having successfully banned hundreds of alternative remedies, the EU is now encouraging drug companies to make drugs specifically for children.

Indeed, as the drug industry always needs an incentive to make even greater profits and to open up whole new markets, so the EU is planning to extend the patents on drugs for children by six months. This small step by itself is anticipated to increase the profit of every drug company by $1m a year.

With drugs killing around 200,000 people a year in just the US and UK, and permanently disabling many more, it's understandable that our guardians want to make them more readily available to children, while ridding the world of those deadly vitamins (BMJ, 2005; 331: 595).

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