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Wicker, Brown Work to Strengthen Pediatric Research Law

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, have introduced new legislation aimed at speeding up the implementation of the “National Pediatric Research Network Act,” which became law in 2013. Brown and Wicker were the original authors of the current law.

“The 2013 law fundamentally changed the way that pediatric research findings are shared,” Wicker said. “It also equipped researchers with new resources to develop better treatments for thousands of American children – with the ultimate goal of finding cures for these devastating diseases. It is disappointing that the law’s implementation has faced numerous delays. This new legislation aims to rectify that problem so that families across the country can start to see the benefits of the law as soon as possible.”

"The National Pediatric Research Network Act has the power to improve pediatric care and expand opportunities for children and their families across the country by strengthening research and changing the way doctors and hospitals share information," said Brown. “But right now, children with rare and sometimes debilitating diseases are still waiting – with time they may not have – for this law to become a reality. It’s time to get this law off the ground so our nation’s hospitals can continue their important work to study and cure pediatric diseases.”

Specifically, the “Pediatric Research Improvement Act,” S. 3115, would strengthen current statute by requiring the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to follow through on creating a national pediatric research network to expand access to clinical trials and treatments for children, especially those with rare diseases. The law also enables NIH to coordinate research findings and more effectively use federal funds to study pediatric diseases.

Highlights of the current law include:

Providing the Director of NIH with the ability to create a National Pediatric Research Network in order to more effectively support pediatric research and optimize the use of federal resources;
Requiring the dissemination of scientific findings in order to ensure the knowledge gained through taxpayer resources is put to good use in helping find treatments and cures; and
Encouraging the Director to ensure that awards go to consortia that consider pediatric rare diseases and conduct clinical trials for prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of these rare diseases.


Posted June 30, 2016 - 8:02 pm

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