Support Advocacy Efforts for a Favourable Environment for Pediatric Drug Development in Canada
Working with all stakeholders, the Centre would like to use its expertise to increase awareness of the issues concerning pediatric formulations and contribute to creating an environment that would favour the development of medicines specifically formulated for children. One of the key aspects in this regard is to understand what strategies might encourage pharmaceutical companies as well as other stakeholders to invest in developing pediatric formulations.
Recognizing the importance of developing safe and effective medicines specifically for children the Minister of Health, on behalf of Health Canada, asked the Council of Canadian Academies to provide an evidence-based and authoritative assessment of the state of research and regulations leading to the approval of medicines for children, in Canada and abroad. In this report, the challenges with the existing system are outlined and one of the conclusions is that we need to strive to develop medicines that are available in a formulation that suits the needs of children. Hence the areas for improvement have been well outlined, and the Centre will build on this assessment to develop some concrete plans to improve access to child-friendly medicines for children.
Building networks is pivotal for the Centre to succeed and it can take many forms. The Centre needs to build relationships with regulatory authorities, pediatricians, hospital pharmacists, politicians, other pediatric hospitals in Canada (and abroad), pharmaceutical industry and patients and their families. These networks allow us to establish priority medicines and identify medicines that are most in need for a pediatric formulation. Moreover, we can use these networks to gain feedback on our strategy and initiatives. The information gained can be shared with our stakeholders who can help us to improve the environment to encourage pharmaceutical companies to invest in pediatric formulations.
There is an important role for the Centre to educate stakeholders whenever possible, as many do not fully understand the current situation. Therefore, the Centre will aim to participate at major pediatric scientific conferences, lead workshops, organize symposia all with the goal to contribute to increasing awareness and understanding of the challenges that exist today with pediatric compounding, and the urgent need for commercially available age-appropriate pediatric formulations.