Drive access to better pediatric medicines on World Children’s Day

Since 2015, the decline in infant and child mortality has slowed, but there is a lack of research into new life-saving tools aimed at children. This is partly due to the complexity of conducting studies including the youngest age groups.

Children cannot swallow tablets or capsules, often cannot tolerate the taste of liquid medicines and metabolize medicines differently as they develop and grow. Children’s medicines should be palatable, scored, crushable, dispersible (ie easily dissolved in water), chewable, sprinkled on food or mixed with breast milk. Appropriate medicines to save and improve the lives of infants and children are often unavailable, unavailable or of poor quality, especially in low-resource settings.

Despite significant progress in child health, with 6 million fewer children under 5 dying in 2016 than in 1990, urgent action is needed to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially SDG 3, for good health and wellness. -humanity, and the related target of achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030.

GAP-f network partners work together to remove barriers to the development and delivery of appropriate, quality, affordable and accessible medicines for children and contribute to UHC. GAP-f works by encouraging collaboration among stakeholders to identify gaps, set priorities for needs and facilitate product investigation, development and delivery to improve and save children’s lives. .

Below are the main GAP-f events and documents released to mark World Children’s Day:

Exploring new approaches for faster access to pediatric drugs for antimicrobial resistance

Our final webinar of 2023 in the GAP-f #BetterMeds4Kids webinar series focuses on exploring new approaches for faster access to pediatric drugs for antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The webinar will be hosted on 20 November 2023 at 1400 CET. Click here for more information.

Short product of Cefiderocol

Despite great progress, preventable and treatable infectious diseases remain the leading cause of death for children under 5 years of age. Bacterial infections, especially pneumonia, neonatal sepsis and gastrointestinal infections, are the leading cause of infectious death in this age group worldwide. This problem is further exacerbated by the global increase in antimicrobial resistance.

WHO is conducting an exercise to produce a Pediatric Drug Optimization (PADO) priority list of antibiotics for development, with all products that have an approved indication for children but where age-appropriate formulations are lacking.

Of those on the list, the most ongoing work so far has focused on cefiderocol, which is the subject of a new product brief documenting the status of clinical trials, regulatory approvals and priorities. in research, to improve efforts to make it accessible to children. .

Priority drugs for Neglected Tropical Diseases

Due to limited financial incentives, few new drugs have been developed for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Many NTDs disproportionately affect children compared to adults. As is the case with most diseases affecting adults and children, the burden on children is increased due to their non-participation in clinical trials, as well as the lack of dosage regimens suitable for age and formulations.

To help address these challenges, WHO has developed a PADO priority list for schistosomiasis, human African trypanosomiasis, scabies, onchocerciasis and visceral leishmaniasis.

Analysis of the research and development pipeline for childhood cancer

Childhood cancer remains a leading cause of death among children worldwide, accounting for more than 100,000 deaths each year. Despite major advances in cancer research and development (R&D), few clinical trials have addressed the impact of investigational drugs on tumor biology in children, especially those living in low-income countries. middle income.

To map gaps and barriers, WHO has produced a summary of the R&D landscape for childhood cancer, showing where more investment is needed, using data from the WHO Global Observatory on Health R&D (GOHRD).

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