Parental preferences for FDA-approved medications prescribed for their children

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2011 Mar;50(3):208-14. doi: 10.1177/0009922810385105. Epub 2010 Nov 22.


Objective: To describe parental preferences for FDA-approved prescription medications for their children.

Study design: Cross-sectional Web-enabled survey of a national sample of 1562 parents.

Results: Response rate was 61%. Most parents (77%) preferred prescription of only FDA-approved medications for their child. However, one half of parents preferred that their child's doctor prescribe medication that is safest and works best, even if not FDA approved for children. One third of parents (34%) preferred nothing but FDA-approved medications for their child, regardless of drug safety, effectiveness, or cost. Controlling for parent race and education, mothers (odds ratio = 1.52; P = .004) and older parents (odds ratio = 1.60; P = .025) were more likely to prefer nothing but FDA-approved medications for their children compared with fathers and younger parents.

Conclusions: Although most parents initially indicate preference for FDA-approved medications, one half of parents will accept a non-FDA-approved medication for their children with the understanding that it is safer or more effective than the FDA-approved alternative.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Approval*
  • Drug Prescriptions
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Patient Preference*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Prescription Drugs* / adverse effects
  • Prescription Drugs* / economics
  • Prescription Fees
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration
  • Young Adult


  • Prescription Drugs