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Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 May;69 Suppl 1:59-63. doi: 10.1007/s00228-013-1487-7. Epub 2013 May 3.

Reflection: medicines for children--science alone is not enough.

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Hospital for Children and Adolescents, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.



Access to medicines filling children's therapeutic needs is a long-standing global problem. The problem has been recognised and initiatives for correction were adopted in the USA in the late 1990s, and in the European Union in the first decade of this century. Paediatric medicines are particularly problematic in middle- and low-income countries, where most of the children of the world live.


A paediatric medicines initiative involving the WHO in parallel with the US and EU initiatives was seen as important by the global paediatric and paediatric clinical pharmacology community, but the WHO was resistant to getting involved.


Advocacy, networking, cooperation, persistence, hard work and some luck were needed to get the "Better medicines for children" resolution 60.20 adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2007.


Science has been a key enabler of the developments leading to and following the adoption of the paediatric initiatives, but as the example of the WHO shows, science alone was not enough to make the change.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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