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Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA) Priority List of Needs in Pediatric Therapeutics

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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National Institutes of Health, The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).




The National Institutes of Health (NIH) hereby announces the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA) Priority List of Needs in Pediatric Therapeutics for 2015. The Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA) seeks to improve the level of information on the safe and effective use of pharmaceuticals used to treat children. The BPCA requires that the NIH identify the drugs of highest priority for study in pediatric populations, and publish a list of drugs/needs in pediatric therapeutics. This notice fulfills the requirement to publish that list.


All nominations of pediatric therapeutics for future consideration by NICHD should be submitted to Dr. Perdita Taylor-Zapata at

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Dr. Perdita Taylor-Zapata via email at; by phone at 301-496-9584; or by fax at 301-480-2897.

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The pediatric medical community, the public health community, and government agencies have long recognized multiple gaps in knowledge regarding the use of therapeutics in children including the correct dosage, appropriate indications, side effects, and safety concerns of pharmaceuticals in the short- and long term. These gaps have frequently resulted in inadequate labeling for pediatric use and in wide-spread off-label use of prescription drugs in children. Off-label use of a drug substantially limits the ability to gain clinical information of the drug product such as appropriate dosing of a drug, changes in drug metabolism and response during growth and development, and important short- and long-term effects.

The NICHD, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), other federal agencies, and various non-profit and commercial organizations are taking steps to fill knowledge gaps that exist in pediatric therapeutics and to promote an increase in evidence-based data about medications used in children.

Update on BPCA Prioritization

The BPCA requires that the NIH, in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration and experts in pediatric research, identify the drugs and therapeutic areas of highest priority for study in pediatric populations. The NIH's authority and responsibility outlined in the BPCA legislation is to establish a program for pediatric drug testing and development and to publish a list of information needs regarding drugs used to treat children. The drug development program consists of a series of clinical trials in various therapeutic areas, which may be based on proposed pediatric study requests (PPSRs) submitted to FDA and/or from written requests (WR) received from the FDA. The BPCA Priority List consists of key therapeutic needs in the medical treatment of children and adolescents identified for further study; it is organized by therapeutic area, which can be a group of conditions, a subgroup of the population, or a setting of care. The first priority list of off-patent drugs needing further study under the 2002 BPCA legislation was published in January 2003 in the Federal Register (FR Vol. 68, No. 13; Tuesday, January 21, 2003: 2789-2790). The most recent priority list was published August 25, 2014; all Federal Register notices can be found on the BPCA Web site:​prioritization/​status.cfm. The BPCA legislation requires the NIH to update the priority list every three years. This publication serves as an update to the BPCA priority list of needs in pediatric therapeutics.

The Obstetric and Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), NIH, has developed a prioritization process for the determination of the needs in pediatric therapeutics. There are two main phases: Phase I of the prioritization process entails identifying therapeutic areas, which are general categories of conditions, diseases, settings of care, or populations with multiple therapeutic needs. The NICHD solicits input from experts in pediatric research, general pediatric and subspecialty care, organizations focused on specific conditions, and professional societies to determine these therapeutic areas that need further study. Each year, the NICHD revisits the current list of needs in pediatric therapeutics, prioritizes three therapeutic areas of interests for that calendar year, and develops working groups in the Start Printed Page 51828prioritized areas. Recommendations from these working groups are then presented to the NICHD and the FDA at the annual BPCA meeting. Previous meeting minutes can be found on the BPCA Web site:​prioritization/​meeting_​summary.cfm. Phase II of the prioritization process includes an extensive review and ranking of all stakeholder nominations received based on key criteria for prioritization, such as relevance, gaps in labeling information, affected populations and feasibility. Please visit the BPCA Web site for more details (​prioritization/​priority_​list.cfm).

Below is an updated list of therapeutic areas and drugs that have been prioritized for study since the inception of the BPCA and a summary of the NICHD's plans and progress in all of these areas to date. The NICHD welcomes input from the pediatric medical community on additional gaps in pediatric therapeutics for future consideration. All nominations should be submitted to Dr. Perdita Taylor-Zapata at the address in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

Priority List of Needs in Pediatric Therapeutics 2015

In accordance with the BPCA legislation, the list outlines priority needs in pediatric therapeutics for multiple therapeutic areas listed below. The complete list can be found on the BPCA Web site at the following address:

Table 1: Infectious Disease Priorities

Table 2: Cardiovascular Disease Priorities

Table 3: Respiratory Disease Priorities

Table 4: Intensive Care Priorities

Table 5: Bio-defense Research Priorities

Table 6: Pediatric Cancer Priorities

Table 7: Psychiatric Disorder Priorities

Table 8: Neurological Disease Priorities

Table 9: Neonatal Research Priorities

Table 10: Adolescent Research Priorities

Table 11: Hematologic Disease Priorities

Table 12: Endocrine Disease Priorities and Diseases with Limited Alternative Therapies

Table 13: Dermatologic Disease Priorities

Table 14: Gastrointestinal Disease Priorities

Table 15: Renal Disease Priorities

Table 16: Rheumatologic Disease Priorities

Table 17: Special Considerations.

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Dated: August 19, 2015.

Francis S. Collins, M.D.,

Director, National Institutes of Health.

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[FR Doc. 2015-21155 Filed 8-25-15; 8:45 am]