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Drug risks to older adults ignored in clinical trials, Public Citizen says

Posted by Sarah Showard | Aug 12, 2012 | 0 Comments

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Older adults use more medicines than younger people and also tend to experience more serious side effects, including death. Yet drug makers often exclude older adults from clinical trials, according to the consumer watchdog group Public Citizen.

In particular, a new analysis of four popular medications often taken by older adults – rosuvastatin (Crestor) for high cholesterol, valsartan (Diovan) for hypertension, risedronate (Actonel) for osteoporosis and pioglitazone (Actos) for diabetes – were tested in clinical studies with significant misrepresentation of adults 65 or older.

The FDA has recommended older adults be represented in drug trials to determine the benefits and risks before the medicine goes on the market, but that step is unenforceable and often ignored, Public Citizen says. The group suggests a combination of laws and regulations – not recommendations – that force drug companies to include older adults in clinical trials.

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About the Author

Sarah Showard

Sarah Showard graduated from the University of Maryland in 1985, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English-Linguistics and a Certification in Women's Studies. She then graduated from New York University School of Law in 1988. Sarah began practice initially as an insurance defense attorney, and has been representing plaintiffs since 1990. Sarah has a son, Benjamin, who recently graduated from The Gregory School and will attend ASU in the fall, with future plans to attend law school and eventually join Showard Law Firm. In her spare time Sarah enjoys horseback riding and spending time in Sonoita with her husband Peter.

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