Two reauthorization bills written by Rep. Anna Eshoo for safer kids medication cleared a key committee vote Thursday.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved the Best Pharmaceutical for Children Act (BPCA) and the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA) and now head to the House floor for consideration.
Congress first passed the two bills in 1997 and 2003, respectively.
"I’m thrilled by the Committee’s vote today," Rep. Eshoo said in a press statement. "Doctors should not have to play a guessing game when it comes to prescribing medication to children. That’s why I’ve been working for more than a decade to make progress in pediatric drug labeling. Kids deserve access to the same safe medicines adults have, and today we’re one step closer to that goal.”
The BPCA and PREA Reauthorization Act of 2012 has the support of 21 national medical associations, including local stakeholders, she said.
"The Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act and the Pediatric Research Equity Act have played an extraordinary role in the health and safety of America's children," said Christopher G. Dawes, president and CEO of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. "On behalf of pediatric caregivers everywhere, we urge the continuance of these important laws."
The bills, if passed, requires and incentives companies to perform more pediatric clinical tests.
"Parents of babies in the NICU and hospitalized children should have the peace of mind of knowing that the drugs being administered have been tested thoroughly to show that they are safe and being given in the best form and dosage,” said David K. Stevenson, MD, principal investigator, March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center at Stanford University.
"BPCA and PREA will help guarantee that the appropriate research is done on prescription drugs to ensure both safety and efficacy in pediatric care."