New strategy for children’s medicines

The government has announced a new strategy to encourage the
development of more medicines designed specifically for

Most medicines have only been tested for safe and effective use
in adults, with just a few having been specifically licensed for
children. However children and adults can respond differently and
some products that are effective for adults may not be appropriate
for children.

The strategy includes the development of a British National
Formulary for Children, expected by mid-2005, and where useful
paediatric medicines have been licensed outside of the UK, the
Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency plans to invite
companies to apply for authorisation.

Health minister Lord Warner said that he wanted the strategy to
give a strong message to pharmaceutical companies to focus on
children’s needs when developing new medicines.

“Until now there hasn’t been enough emphasis on
developing medicines specifically for use in children,” he

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