April 25, 2007
A child born today could live 30 years longer than a child born 100 years ago. Still, one research group says we have a long way to go to keep our children healthy.
Over the years, new medicines and vaccines have played a major role in lengthening our life expectancy, and research shows infant mortality rates at record lows, but doctors say they need to keep up the research.
Right now, bio-pharmaceutical researchers are testing 219 drugs to see if they help improve children's health needs. With the new medicines, doctors say it can help children stay healthy and recover from illnesses more quickly. These potential medicines are in clinical trials or under review from the FDA.
Thirty-nine of the drugs are for cancer, which is the leading cause of death in American children. Twenty-six medicines are for genetic disorders, including medicines for cystic fibrosis. Sixteen are for neurological disorders, including epilepsy. Fourteen are for respiratory disorders, including the very common asthma.
In addition to testing new drugs, these researchers are testing many existing drugs to find out if they are safe and at what levels they are safe to take.
Just last year, President Bush reauthorized successful research programs to continue testing medicines for children's health.