Today, a whopping 282 medicines to treat children and adolescents are in clinical trials or under review by the FDA, according to a report by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
Medicine has been key in recent decades in fighting diseases that impact children. New vaccines, antibiotics, and major treatments protect children against many childhood and infections diseases, as well as cancer. With 30 years of advancement, the percentage of children with cancer surviving for five years of longer has increased by 24 percentage points.
Of the nearly 300 medicines in the report, 54 are for cancer, 49 for infectious diseases, 48 for genetic disorders and 25 for neurologic disorders. In addition to developing new medicines, researches are testing existing medicines to determine safe and effective dosage levels for children.
Biopharmaceutical research companies are working to continue this progress, which has plunged infant mortality to record lows, but the termination of the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA) and the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA) in October 2012, unless reauthorized or made permanent by Congress, will cease many research possibilities.
“Reauthorization of these pivotal programs is essential to continued progress in children’s health,” said John J. Castellani, president and CEO of PhRMA. “Permanent reauthorization would provide much-needed predictability and certainty, to the benefit of regulators, innovative companies and, ultimately, children.”