Doing What is Best for Kids

Doing What is Best for Kids

01.12.12 | By Preet Bilinski

Children are not "small adults" when it comes to medicine, a fact pointed out in a recent article in NIH's Winter edition of Medline Magazine. Parents want nothing but the best for their children and previously that was hard to determine when it came to medicines. Historically, many FDA-approved drugs had not been studied in pediatric populations, resulting in inadequate or unavailable information on dosing, safety, efficacy and side effects. As a result, about 70 percent of the drugs prescribed for children had too little scientifically verified safety, effectiveness, and dosing information. That changed with the passage of the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA) and the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA) which encourage pediatric research by providing incentives to biopharmaceutical companies to conduct studies of new medicines for children. As of 2008, an estimated 50 to 60% of prescription drugs used to treat children have now been studied in some part of the pediatric population.

Significant progress has been made in our ability to treat children thanks to the research conducted as a result of BPCA and PREA. These highly successful programs have led to hundreds of pediatric studies covering more than 16 broad categories of diseases that affect children. The research conducted as a result of BPCA and PREA has led to nearly 426 pediatric labeling changes since 1998, according to the FDA. However BPCA and PREA are scheduled to expire on October 1, 2012 unless reauthorized or made permanent by Congress.

Today, pediatricians have more information than ever about the use of medicines in children including information on safety, efficacy and dosing. At the end of the day, isn't that what's most important?

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