By Susan HeaveyTue Mar 27
Patent extensions for drug companies that test their medicines for use in children should be continued, U.S. lawmakers heard on Tuesday at a hearing that also considered incentives for devicemakers.
The provision, set to expire in September, allows pharmaceutical companies to receive a six-month patent extension in exchange for conducting clinical trials of their therapies for younger patients.
Such studies are key for doctors and parents to choose the best and most effective treatments for children. Without them, physicians must decide what therapy to use and how much based only on data gathered on adults.
At a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, medical and industry experts urged lawmakers to renew the practice of allowing drugmakers to hold exclusive rights longer in return for the information.
"Children's differing metabolism, growth and development, and size have very large effects," Dr. Richard Gorman said on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics, adding that nearly two-thirds of medicines used in children are not specifically labeled for them. MOREReuters Limited
Finally we are hearing some good news. I know it's because economics now dictate that it's more cost effective, but he, whatever works to get our kids cared for.