Despite various international regulatory initiatives over the last 20 years, many challenges remain in the field of paediatric drug development and evaluation. Indeed, drug research and development is still focused essentially on adult indications, thereby excluding many paediatric patients, limiting the feasibility of trials and favouring competing developments. Off-label prescribing persists and the development of age-appropriate dosage forms for children remains limited. Against this background, the members of this panel (TR) recommend the launch of multi-partner exchange forums on specific topics in order to focus new drug research and development on the real, unmet medical needs of children and adolescents, and in keeping with the underlying mechanisms of action. Scientific information sharing and cooperation between stakeholders are also essential for defining reference evaluation methods in each medical field. These forums can be organised through existing paediatric facilities and research networks at the French and European level. The latter are specifically dedicated to paediatric research and can facilitate clinical trial implementation and patient enrolment. Moreover, specific grants and public/private partnerships are still needed to support studies on the repositioning of drugs in paediatric indications, and pharmacokinetic studies aimed at defining appropriate dosages. The development of new pharmaceutical forms, better suited for paediatric use, and the promotion of resulting innovations will stimulate future investments. Initiatives to gather observational safety and efficacy data following off-label and/or derogatory early access should also be encouraged to compensate for the lack of information available in these situations. Finally, the creation of Ethics Committees (EC) with a specific “mother-child” advisory expertise should be promoted to ensure that the current regulation (Jardé law in France) is implemented whilst also taking into account the paediatric specificities in medical trials.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Paediatrics, Drug development, Clinical trials, Innovation, Challenges
|☆|| The articles, analyses and proposals resulting from the Giens Workshops are those of the authors and do not prejudge the positions of their organisations.