Feb. 16, 1999 DENVER-To help make sure that medications given to children are safe and effective, National Jewish Medical and Research Center physicians will start several new clinical trials aimed at establishing accurate doses of medication for children.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are funding the Denver site of the study, called the Pediatric Pharmacology Research Unit (PPRU) Network.
“There is a serious gap in prescription information for children less than 6 years old,” said Stanley J. Szefler, M.D., a National Jewish Medical and Research Center pediatric asthma specialist and principal investigator of the Denver site for the federal government’s PPRU. “This is an excellent opportunity to refine the use of medications in various age groups in order to develop safe and effective dosing schedules.”
The NIH have selected 13 medical and research centers throughout the United States to be members of the PPRU. The grant, for $1.5 million over five years, comes from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the NIH. This grant represents collaboration between National Jewish and The Children’s Hospital. Harley Rotbart, M.D. and Mark Abzug, M.D., of The Children’s Hospital are co-principal investigators.
“This program should be important to all parents because it is designed to get better information on medications for the treatment of many childhood illnesses, including asthma,” Dr. Szefler said. Other diseases that will be studied include cystic fibrosis, AIDS, infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, and epilepsy.
All children involved in this research are closely monitored for side effects under guidelines developed by the National Institutes of Health. In addition, National Jewish has a group of physicians who closely monitor all clinical research done at the facility.
EDITORS NOTE: Please contact Jordan Gruener, (303) 398-1002, to interview a child, who nearly died after being on incorrect doses of asthma medication. This child has since recovered and now has his asthma under control.
National Jewish Medical and Research Center has been ranked as the number one hospital in the United States for respiratory diseases by U.S. News & World Report, 1998-1999.
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