Essential medicines for children

Accomplishments in the area so far

WHO launched the 'make medicines child size' advocacy campaign in December 2007 to promote development of, and access to, appropriate and quality medicines for children. This has been endorsed by industry through the IFPMA; civil society through Médicines sans Frontières, Caritas Internationalis and others; as well as professional associations, the NIH, EMEA and UNICEF.

A WHO Subcommittee on Selection and Use of Essential Medicines developed the first ever Model List of Essential Medicines for children in 2007 and revised it in 2008 to include missing essential medicines for children, using evidence-based clinical guidelines.

The International Conference of Drug Regulatory Authorities, which convenes every two years, held a two day preconference in September 2008 to discuss the regulation of medicines for children, including clinical trials, streamlining registration procedures and guidance for prescribing medicines for children.

The Expert Committee on Pharmaceutical Specifications is drafting a guidance document on the development of paediatric medicinal products that will be a resource for industry.

Clinical trials in Children - WHO Registry

The WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) launched Clinical trials in children. The aim of the site is to improve awareness and make it easier to access accurate, up to date, understandable information relevant to the conduct of clinical trials in children. The content will evolve over time in response to the feedback received from visitors to the site.

The WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform ensures that a complete view of research is accessible to all those involved in health care decision making. This improves research transparency and will ultimately strengthen the validity and value of the scientific evidence base.

Sources and Prices of Selected Medicines for Children

This publication by UNICEF and WHO contributes to the effort to increase access to appropriate medicines by identifying sources and prices for selected products indicated in the treatment of diseases in children. For some dosage forms there are a number of sources available globally, but many remain challenging to source. The sources and prices stated and analysed in this document cover 173 different formulations and dosage strengths classified in 8 categories.

In addition to the detailed information on sources and prices of children's medicines, the publication provides background information, methodology, analysis of the data retrieved and a wish list for the future development of medicines for children.

The WHO Prequalification of Medicines Programme

The WHO Prequalification of Medicines Programme prequalified new products specially designed to treat HIV/AIDS in children. This represents a considerable breakthrough in making available the user-friendly formulations, that will also improve efficacy of treatment.