More Efforts Needed for Child Medicine Development

July 10, 2018  Editor: Wang Yue

At present, under the difficult conditions of dispensing medicine to children in the right dosages and forms, authorities face great challenges.

China currently has only about 60 varieties of medicinal drugs for children out of more than 3,500 types in total. Meanwhile, there are only about 10 professional factories for children’s medicine in over 6,000 pharmaceutical companies.

"There are four major problems in children's medication faced by China's medical institutions: the lack of suitable child-specific preparation; the deficiency of information in drug instructions; lack of guidance and standards; and shortages in clinical drug supplies," said Ni Xin, director of the Beijing Children's Hospital at Capital Medical University.

The 2018 China Children's Safety Medication Conference was recently held in Beijing. Organizers and attendees instructed people to "use child-specific medicine for children" and focus on the innovation and development of children's drugs.

Due to the lack of children's medicine, children often have to take adult medicine. As such, the question of how to administer the proper dosage to a child has become a headache for many parents.

In a survey released in 2016, it was reported that about 30,000 children go deaf each year due to improper use of drugs, and more children are suffering from other ill side-effects. The rate of children's drug intoxication increased to 73 percent in 2014, while the number in 2012 was 53 percent.

"With the implementation of the universal two-child policy, the number of children has increased rapidly, and the proper use of children's drugs has become more important," emphasized Fan Daiming, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

"Children have a specific physical state," said Huang Songming, director of Nanjing Children's Hospital. He added: "We are calling for relevant authorities, research institutions, pharmaceutical enterprises and clinical institutions to solve the problem."

"There are four major difficulties for children's medicine research: the need for long-term research, high costs, difficult processes and a lack of policy support," Guan Yanbin, vice president of the Medical Chamber of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) and president of Sunflower Pharmaceutical Group, pointed out.

When it comes to knowing how to tackle the problem of drug availability, new drugs expert Sang Guowei , who is also an academician from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, proposed three suggestions.

First, the government should give energetic guidance and encouragement to child-specific drug research and development.

Second, all pharmaceutical enterprises and research institutions should be responsible for their missions.

Third, officials and researchers should always give priority to child health development and ensure safe supply of children's medicine.

(Source: Guangming Online/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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