Benchmarks in the Regulation of Pediatric Drugs
1902 Biologics Control Act
1906 Pure Food and Drug Act
1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
1962 Kefauver-Harris Amendment
1979 labeling requirement
1994 Pediatric Labeling Rule
1997 Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act (FDAMA)
1998 Pediatric Rule*
2002 Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA)
2003 Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA)
SOURCE: Mathis, 2006.
thalidomide, a sleeping pill, caused severe birth defects in the offspring of European women who took it, as well as women in the United States who gained access to it as an investigational new drug. Before the amendment was passed, an FDA New Drug Application had to demonstrate only that the drug was safe. Under the amendment, an FDA New Drug Application was required to demonstrate that the drug was effective as well as safe.
Many of the incidents that inspired the above legislation involved children, but according to Dr. Mathis, the resulting laws benefited adults disproportionately. Information on the use of drugs in children was limited and remained insufficient for decades. Then in 1979, the FDA issued a requirement that labels note specifically whether safety and efficacy had been established in pediatric populations. The 1994 Pediatric Labeling Rule, another FDA regulation, requested that the pharmaceutical industry submit literature and other data providing additional information on the use of drugs in pediatric patients. However, it proved relatively ineffective. In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act (FDAMA) provided incentives for companies to test drugs in pediatric populations voluntarily: 6 months of additional marketing exclusivity and patent protection when studies are performed in children as