Pharmaceutical firms researching medicines for children will be encouraged to develop them through incentives including extension of drug patents. The European Parliament has voted the measure in hoping to spur the creation of drugs designed specifically for children. MEP Françoise Grossetête explains how the incentive is meant to work:
“Any new drug the industry is researching for adults will have to be tested for infants. For all medicines they already have, which the patent has run out on, a lab can start pediatric research. That way it will benefit from funding we are providing for.”
The European Commission said the extra six months’ of patent protection would be worth up to 9 million euros in profits per drug. Half of what is now given to EU children has not been tested on young people. In the U.S. more than 100 medicines especially geared for them exist, but they are notably absent in Europe.