On December 4, 2012, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) staged the 2012 Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA) Annual Meeting in Rockville, MD. This yearly event serves as part of the NICHD mandate to oversee a priority list of needs in pediatric therapeutics under the BPCA.
The BPCA priority list identifies key therapeutic needs in the medical treatment of infants, children, and adolescents. The list is organized by therapeutic area, which can be a group of conditions, a specific population, or a setting of care. Each calendar year, a few therapeutic areas are selected for discussion and further prioritization. This year, the NICHD convened expert working groups in dermatology and rheumatology, whose final recommendations will be posted to the BPCA website by the end of the year.
Additionally, meeting participants reviewed the status of the BPCA program and provided updates on currently funded studies. The Pediatric Trials Network (PTN) was a key contributor in this portion of the meeting as it was established by the NICHD to provide an infrastructure for conducting safe and effective pediatric clinical trials for the BPCA drug development program. Michael Cohen-Wolkowiez, a PTN investigator from Duke University, provided an overview of PTN activities and lessons learned in 2012.