Safer Medicines for Canadian Kids

With the adoption of the Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act, the Government of Canada took a major step towards the creation of reforms to the drug safety system. However, because medicines are old and often produced generically, many have never been tested in children, thus doctors have few safety or efficacy data to guide prescribing. Critical issues around the development of better medicines for children were reviewed in a Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) report, which concludes:

  • Many medications children take have not been proven safe and effective for their use.

  • Children respond to medications differently from adults; thus, medicines must be studied in and formulated for them.

  • In the U.S. and E.U., pediatric medicines research is required and monitored in ways that offer lessons for Canada.

  • Pediatric medicines research is a Canadian strength, but requires reinforcement and sustained infrastructure to realize its full potential.

As a program of MICYRN, KidsCAN Trials will be a national hub to coordinate research, training and knowledge transfer in the safe therapeutic use of medicines for children. By federating all academic child health centres and their affiliated research institutes, KidsCAN Trials will encourage new processes and practices, new policy approaches and new ways of organizing care for children. It will catalyze the development of new research methods and new knowledge transfer tools and will foster collaboration among patients, families, child healthcare institutions, researchers, educators and regulators.