Consequences of Directive 2001/20/EC for investigator-initiated trials in the paediatric population--a field report.

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    • Abstract:
      On 4 April 2001, the European Parliament and Council enacted Directive 2001/20/EC, which had to be implemented in the national law of the European Union member states by May 2004. Its aim was to improve the quality of clinical trials and to assure the safety and well-being of trial subjects. We recently initiated the first paediatric investigator-initiated trial (IIT) at the University Hospital of Cologne according to Directive 2001/20/EC. This field report demonstrates the consequences and implications of the directive for paediatric IITs. Based on our experience, we agree that Directive 2001/20/EC improves the quality of clinical trials and assures the safety and well-being of trial subjects. However, at the same time, performing an IIT according to the new requirements is nearly impossible for clinicians and academic researchers without cooperating with expensive specialised experts, such as project managers, statisticians, data managers, pharmacists and monitors. Therefore, it is absolutely mandatory that financial support for paediatric IITs be adapted and increased in order to be able to meet the new requirements and obligations. Regulation (EC) No 141/2000 on orphan medicinal products and the recently adopted regulation on medicinal products for paediatric use (Paediatric Regulation) are important steps in improving clinical research in children. However, both regulations mainly encourage clinical research carried out by the pharmaceutical industry, whereas paediatric IITs are not in the scope of this legislation. We need to develop new concepts for funding to ensure future paediatric IITs, for example through specific grants from the European Union or member states. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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