French doctors are tried for treating children with infected growth hormone

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 14 February 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:348
  1. Brad Spurgeon
  1. 1Paris

    Seven doctors and pharmacists went on trial in France last week over the death of at least 110 people who became infected with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease after being given tainted human growth hormone when they were children.

    The United States, Britain, and other countries halted the distribution of growth hormone in 1985, after it was discovered that three people had died after being given the product. Growth hormone at that time was extracted from pituitary glands removed from corpses. The cause of some subsequent deaths was Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

    Doctors in France, however, continued to use the hormone for several years, treating thousands of children, before turning to a synthetic substitute in 1988 …

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