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In January 1997, the British Association for Psychopharmacology convened a Round Table meeting to look at issues surrounding the prescription of psychotropic drugs to children or individuals with learning disabilities. This followed reports in the UK media about increasing rates of prescription to children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and children who are depressed as well as concerns regarding the prescription of psychotropic drugs to both children and adults with learning disabilities. The participants included both clinical and basic scientists, psychiatrists and psychologists, as well as regulators and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry and they were drawn from the UK, the United States, Canada, Holland, France and Germany. The brief was to consider the evidence in favour of prescribing for individuals with learning disabilities or children with obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, depression or ADHD and the basis on which prescribing could take place in the absence of clinical trial evidence of efficacy drawn from the populations in question, where prescribing is effectively off label or outside the remit of a medicine's product licence or sometimes must take place in the face of data sheet disclaimers that it is contraindicated.

Original publication




Journal article


J Psychopharmacol

Publication Date





291 - 294


Adolescent, Adult, Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity, Child, Clinical Trials as Topic, Depressive Disorder, Humans, Learning Disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Psychotropic Drugs, Schizophrenia