Enabling Development of Paediatric Medicines in Europe: 10 Years of the EU Paediatric Regulation
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The year 2017 marks the tenth anniversary of entry into force of the Paediatric Regulation in the European Union (EU). This law aimed to stimulate the development of paediatric medicines and provide more information on their use, as a response to the lack of evidence and approval of medicines for children. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has had a central role in the implementation of the Regulation. Pharmaceutical companies need to submit a paediatric investigation plan (PIP) to the EMA’s Paediatric Committee (PDCO) for every new medicine, unless an exemption (waiver) is granted. The plans, which describe the development of drugs for children, must be agreed well in advance of the request for marketing authorization of the medicine. Deferrals of studies can be granted to allow approval in adults before the completion of paediatric studies. Between January 2007 and December 2016, a total of 273 new medicines and 43 additional pharmaceutical forms appropriate for use in children were authorized in the EU, and 950 PIPs were agreed by the EMA. In addition, 486 waivers of the development of a medicine in one or more medical conditions were agreed. The Paediatric Regulation has had a very positive impact on paediatric drug development, as exemplified by a comparison of two periods of 3 years before and after entry into force of the Regulation. We conclude that the Regulation has resulted in more medicines for children and more information on the pediatric use of medicines in the EU being available to clinicians.
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