Covid-like pandemics cast shadow on developing medicines for children
Jyothi Datta of the Hindu Business Line reports on the Foundation's series of articles stressing the urgent need for new “child-friendly” treatments for HIV, malaria and TB, especially with the looming impact of COVID-19 and emerging drug resistance.
Drawing on the findings from 'Ending the burden of HIV, malaria and TB in children,’ the article highlights that children in low- and middle-income countries are the most vulnerable to the ‘big three’ epidemics and are often last in line for treatments.
The article echoes the urgent need for new treatments tailored specifically to the needs of children and to ensure their rapid accessibility – especially as COVID-19 disrupts even basic services and supply of treatments.
Jayasree K. Iyer, Executive Director of the Access to Medicine Foundation, is quoted in response to the challenges identified:
'Governments are already struggling with the pandemic and economic losses, so it gets harder to make money available to other diseases. Children’s medicines need to be tailored for kids, be available in oral forms and not be bitter, but research needs “more money on the table”, as there are regulatory and other costs.'
It concludes by taking a closer look at some of key areas identified by the series to ensure pharmacetuical companies develop and deliver these much-needed medicines.