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Liverpool to lead 20M Department of Health initiative to develop medicines for children

Many of the medicines used to treat children have been designed for adults, and have not been properly tested on the young. Health professionals use their skill and judgement when prescribing medicines for children but uncertainty can result in inappropriate dosing or inadequate efficacy.

The initiative will take the development of children's medicines to a new level, with the establishment of a national research network to undertake important clinical studies into the safety and effectiveness of medicines for children. The University will become the Co-ordinating Centre for this new network, to be based at the Institute of Child Health at Alder Hey site.

The UK Medicines For Children Research Network will enable the development of a wide variety of drugs for children, including those for the prevention and treatment of diseases affecting newborns and children on intensive care.

Researchers will work towards developing treatments for a range of diseases in children such as meningitis, asthma, epilepsy and migraine. The network will involve all types of health professionals, the pharmaceutical industry and most importantly, children and parents, in the development of new medicines.

Health Secretary, John Reid, said: "Currently most medicines are designed primarily for adults. The 20million we are spending on setting up the UK Medicines For Children Research Network will lead to safer and more effective treatments designed specifically for children. This network will bring together the pharmaceutical industry and the NHS to achieve better development of children's medicines."

Rosalind Smyth, Professor of Paediatric Medicine, will become Director of the new Co-ordinating Centre. She said: "This national initiative has the potential to make a real difference for children, parents and prescribers by making sure that existing and new medicines are tailored to the needs of children. Children have the right to the same stand
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Contact: Kate Spark
kate.spark@liv.ac.uk
44-151-794-2247
University of Liverpool
16-Mar-2005


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