“The danger lies not just in the particular circumstances that led to Dan’s death, but in a system of clinical research that has been thoroughly co-opted by market forces, so that many studies have become little more than covert instruments for promoting drugs. The study in which Dan died starkly illustrates the hazards of market-driven research and the inadequacy of our current oversight system to detect them.”
Sixteen months after 7-year-old Gabriel Myers committed suicide while taking psychotropic drugs, the state of Florida has banned allowing any children in the state’s custody from participating in clinical drug trials.
Some critics insist too many foster parents, lacking the skill or patience to work with troubled children who arrive as strangers, are still too quick to see medication as the way to curb problem behavior or just keep foster children quiet, no matter the side effects. But whatever the truth of that, the study group recommended some good changes, and one made sense immediately, I thought: Ban the use of foster kids in drug trials.