WHO WE ARE
The Rosalind & Morris Goodman Family Pediatric Formulations Centre of the CHU Sainte-Justine, also known as the Goodman Pediatric Formulations Centre (GPFC), was opened on February 22, 2016. The overall goal of the Centre is to improve access to child-friendly medicines. We are the only Centre in Canada whose mandate is to facilitate the development of commercially available age-appropriate formulations for children. Promoting practices to increase the safety of medicines administered to children is part of our mission.
Many medicines used in children are not available in pharmaceutical forms adapted to their needs. Indeed, most oral medications are produced for adults as tablets and capsules, which lack dosing flexibility to meet dosage requirements of the spectrum of ages and sizes, ranging from neonates to adolescents. Furthermore, most children under the age of 8 are unable to swallow pills.
Approved adults forms often need to be modified in some manner to administer the desired dose to children, and as such are used off-label. When this happens, the adult form is manipulated by either a health care provider, such as a pharmacist or at home by the parents or caregivers (e.g., grinding a tablet and sprinkling it into the fluid or a food vehicle such as applesauce). This process is called compounding and is commonplace for those medicines that lack pediatric formulations. Click here to watch a short video.
Given that compounded medicines are not approved by Health Canada’s rigorous process, we do not always know the medication’s characteristics. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to know the exact quantity of the medicine that is absorbed. Furthermore, food vehicle (e.g., applesauce, juice or yogurt) used to administer these compounded medicines, or to mask the bad taste of some formulations, can alter drug absorption.
We strive to contribute to making available convenient and high-quality pediatric products adapted to children’s needs that can spell the difference between successful treatment and therapeutic failure and prevent adverse drug events.
The Goodman Pediatric Formulations Centre is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to working with all stakeholders that could be part of the solution to improving access to child-friendly medicines:
The Centre’s vision is to improve access to child-friendly medicines by increasing the number of medicines formulated for children. As a result of this initiative, we will facilitate increasing the efficacy, safety, and compliance of medicines for children. As a not-for-profit, we endeavor to shape the environment to encourage drug development and commercialization of pediatric formulations, in Canada, and elsewhere, by being a trusted partner for all parties. We are the voice of Canadian children to support efforts so that age-appropriate medicines are available.
- To facilitate the development and commercialization of safe and effective pediatric drug formulations by:
- Promoting a research-based approach to pediatric formulation development
- Advocating for a clinical and regulatory environment that fosters pediatric formulation development
- Advocating for incentives that will stimulate and attract development of pediatric formulations
- Identifying hurdles and challenges in the drug development process and in the regulatory landscape and act as a change agent
- To promote practices to increase safety of medicines administered to children
These goals are in line with a recent report of the Council of Canadian Academies, Improving Medicines for Children in Canada, and a second report from the Canadian Senate, Prescription Pharmaceuticals in Canada.
About CHU Sainte-Justine
Affiliated with the Université de Montréal, CHU Sainte-Justine is the largest pediatric teaching centre in Quebec and amongst the top in Canada.