At a House Health Subcommittee hearing today, Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) made the case for safer prescription drugs for kids. Rep. Eshoo has introduced a bipartisan bill to reauthorize two programs, the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA) and the Best Pharmaceutical for Children Act (BPCA), which incents companies to conduct more pediatric clinical testing. Eshoo has championed these programs for nearly a decade and was the original sponsor of the legislation. Her reauthorization has been incorporated into the committee chairman's latest draft of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), which is expected to be voted out of committee in the coming weeks.
"Children are not just small adults," Rep. Eshoo said in her prepared remarks. "Their bodies react differently to medications, and their size can cause them to experience different side-effects. Without clinical data, children may be given the wrong dosage or may receive treatment that is ineffective for their age and size. The results can be dire--toxicity, drug resistance, longer illnesses, needless pain and suffering, and higher costs to the health care system."