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The right of children to receive medicines that have been scientifically tested for both efficacy and safety is now becoming widely accepted. Tragedies such as the grey baby syndrome in association with the use of the antibiotic chloramphenicol in neonates could have been avoided if appropriate scientific studies had been performed.1 European legislation has now established that children should have the same rights as adults to receive medicines that have been proven to be of benefit and are unlikely to cause serious toxicity.2 The European legislation follows on from American initiatives and should result in improved drug therapy for children. National networks to coordinate clinical trials of medicines in children have been established in several European countries alongside North American …
Competing interests: None.