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Hillary Clinton Calls for More Attention to Treating Kids With Behavioral Disorders

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The FDA recently was given the power to require pediatric clinical studies for over 400 medications, including psychotropic drugs, says Dianne Murphy, MD, the FDA's associate director for pediatrics. She tells WebMD that these studies are important because they will help outline efficacy and safety issues, as well as identify the appropriate dosages for when medications are necessary.

While conducting these studies may take some time, the FDA has made significant progress, she adds. Thanks to a provision that makes it more attractive for drugmakers to voluntarily initiate pediatric studies, the FDA already has received 170 proposals and relabeled six products, she says.

The importance of the NIMH study is that it will help answer some of the ethical issues, she says, adding that in terms of Clinton's initiative, "I'm sure that the attention it brings to [the use of psychotropic drugs in children] will help facilitate a timely review."

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