Sample drugs could be hazards for children


NEW YORK Free drug samples may harm children’s health, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

The study, an analysis of a 2004 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey, found that low-income children and high-income children were equally likely to receive free drug samples from doctors. Of those children, 500,000 received samples of drugs that were later revealed to cause possible health problems. The drugs were GlaxoSmithKline’s asthma drug Advair, Shire’s and Eli Lilly?s respective attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drugs Adderall and Strattera and Novartis?s eczema drug Elidel.

More than 38,000 children younger than 2 received Elidel, to which Novartis later had to add a warning that it was not approved for children that young.

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