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Start > Resource centre > Articles > Better medicines for children: EU Commission initiative to get best and safest treatments for children Part 2

"I find the fact that more than half of the medicines that are used to treat children have not been adequately tested for them very troubling. I hope that this will be a thing of the past very soon."

The main problem seems to lie with the relatively small market for children's medicines. This makes pharmaceutical companies rather reluctant to invest in child-specific medicines. The revenue from paediatric development of products is not perceived as justifying the cost of the clinical trials that are needed.

In the EU, children, that is the 0-16 year-old population, represent about 75 million people, some 20 per cent of the total population. And yet the majority of medicines are still only developed and assessed for use in adult populations.

Somewhere between 50 per cent and 90 per cent of medicinal products depending on therapeutic areas used in children have never been specifically evaluated for use in children.

The Commission's proposals are precisely addressed to this situation. The EU is encouraging producing companies to study, test and adapt new and old medicines for children. Such incentives range from longer periods of intellectual property protection to a new type of marketing authorisation that would give intellectual property rights to new paediatric uses of older products.

Teacher: Michael
Many articles taken from 'A word with the doctor', by Dr. John Windsor.


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