Looking for better ways to treat kids
Chinese medical authorities are pushing for pharmaceutical companies to develop better ways of administering drugs to children to cater to their different physiology and habits.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the National Food and Drug Administration recently released a new list of 39 pediatric drugs to focus on — the second such list.
The priority is on such areas as neurological, cardio-vascular and hematological problems and treatments such as epi-pens — epinephrine autoinjectors for anaphylactic shock, which normally come only in an adult dose and which would be fatal for a child.
The FDA has pledged to expedite the review and approval process for new drugs whose forms, dosages, and methods of administration are designed to match children’s physiology, said Ding Jianhua, director of the division of supervision and regulation for drugs and chemicals in the FDA.
The authorities also want drug companies to look at tastes and smells that appeal to children.
The 2016 Annual National Report on Adverse Drug Reactions, conducted by the FDA, also emphasized the importance of pediatric drug safety.
According to the report, the National Adverse Drug Reactions Monitoring System received 1.2 million reports fro medical institutions, 10.6 percent of which — 128,000 reports — involved children 14 or under.
Of those, 6,989 were deemed serious, accounting for 5.5 percent of all reports about children.
But the rate of serious incidents — or adverse reactions — among children has become lower than that among the general population.
Injections remained as the major cause of adverse reactions among children and account for 90.8 percent of serious incidents.
Doctors are more likely to administer injections than oral medicine, because children may not like the taste or smell, may not swallow properly or may vomit before the medicine has taken effect.
The FDA stresses that all parents and guardians should follow doctors’ advice and doctors should choose injections only when no other alternatives prove effective.