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Published on 7 December 2007

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WHO boosts bid for children’s drugs


The World Health Organisation has stepped up its efforts to ensure children have better access to appropriate medicines.

The group has unveiled a new research and development agenda in a bid to make antibiotics, asthma and pain medications better tailored to children’s needs.

It calls for further studies on combination pills for HIV and AIDS, TB, and malaria, as well as appropriate child therapy for a number of tropical diseases.

Dr Margaret Chan, WHO director-general, said: “The gap between the availability and the need for child-appropriate medicines touches wealthy as well as poor countries.

“As we strive for equitable access to scientific progress in health,
children must be one of our top priorities.”

The WHO has already started work to promote increased research into children’s medicines.

The agency is building an internet site for clinical trials carried out in children and will publish the portal containing the information early next year.

It has also released the first international list of essential medicines for young people containing 206 drugs that are deemed safe for children.

“But a lot remains to be done. There are priority medicines that have not been adapted for children’s use or are not available when needed,” Dr Hans Hogerzeil, director of medicines policy and standards at WHO, added.

Copyright © PA Business 2007

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