Intended for healthcare professionals


Excluding older patients from trials is “bad science,” conference hears

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 29 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6305
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

“Ageism” is thwarting the development of more effective drugs for older people, say pharmacologists.

A conference of experts in London raised strong objections to clinical trials placing an upper age limit on patient participants, which some dubbed “arbitrary” and scientifically unjustified.

The conference, Prescribing without evidence, was held at the Royal College of Physicians on 27 September by the British Pharmacological Society and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine.

Some 100 experts discussed the problems of prescribing medicines for certain patient groups, including older people, …

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