As a new drug moves from the laboratory to the local drugstore shelf, it is supposedly tested on the population that will be taking it. But this is not always the case. Drugs are usually clinically tested on healthy young adults, which overlooks the special needs of the elderly who have the disease being studied. Some pharmaceutical manufacturers have begun including the elderly in their testing programs, but participation by the industry as a whole is lagging. The Pharmaceutical Manufacturer's Association has been working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to set guidelines for the inclusion of the elderly in drug studies. A draft from the FDA has been reviewed by the manufacturers, and their input is now being considered by the FDA [The Digest: A Medical Liability and Risk Management Newsletter 1989; I6(3):2].