Promote 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 younger age groups.

Children cannot swallow tablets or capsules, often cannot stand the taste of liquid medicines and metabolize drugs differently as they develop and grow. Pediatric medicines need to be palatable, scored, crushable, dispersible (ie it disintegrates quickly in water), chewable, sprinkled on food or mixed with breast milk. Appropriate medicines to save and improve the lives of infants and children often do not exist, are not available or are not of quality assurance, especially in low-resource settings.

Even with significant progress in child health, with 6 million more children under 5 dying in 2016 than in 1990, urgent action is needed to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 3, for good health and well-being. -being, and the related objective to achieve Universal Health Coverage (CSU) by 2030.

GAP-f network partners work together to remove barriers to the development and distribution of appropriate, quality, affordable and accessible medicines for children and contribute to UHC. GAP-f works by encouraging collaboration between stakeholders to identify gaps, prioritize needs and accelerate research, development and delivery of products to improve and save children’s lives.

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

Explore innovative approaches for faster access to pediatric medicines for antimicrobial resistance

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

Cefiderocol in brief of the product

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

The WHO has carried out an exercise to produce a Pediatric Drug Optimization (PADO) priority list of antibiotics for development, with all included products having an approved indication for children, but for which suitable formulations are lacking the age

Out of those on the list, the most ongoing work to date has focused on cefiderocol, which is the subject of a new product brief documenting the status of clinical trials, regulatory approval and and research priorities, to advance efforts to make it accessible to children. .

Priority drugs for neglected tropical diseases

Due to limited financial incentives, few new drugs are developed for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Several NTDs disproportionately affect children versus adults. As is the case for most diseases that affect adults and children, the burden on children is compounded by their not being included in clinical trials, as well as a lack of dosage regimens and suitable formulations for age.

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

Research and development pipeline analysis for childhood cancer

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

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

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