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Pharmaceuticals: Children given danger drugs as free samples
About the author: 
WDDTY Team

Free drug samples are regularly handed out to small children as a marketing ploy - and they are even being given drugs that have been given a warning label by the regulators

Free drug samples are regularly handed out to small children as a marketing ploy - and they are even being given drugs that have been given a warning label by the regulators.


Free hand-outs are very common, and are given to around 4.9 per cent of all children in the USA aged 18 or under, a new study has discovered.


Researchers from Harvard Medical School surveyed 10,295 children who were aged 18 or younger in 2004. Of these, 10 per cent who were already taking a prescription drug were also given a free sample, and 4.9 per cent of all children surveyed were given a sample, whether or not they were already taking a drug.


The most popular samples were the ADHD drugs Strattera and Adderall, but they also included dangerous drugs, such as Elidel for treating eczema, and the bronchitis drug Advair, which have a 'black box' warning, suggesting they need to be handled with special care.


(Source: Pediatrics, 2008; 122: 736-42).


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