House Passes Spending Bill Maintaining Funding Levels for Ryan White CARE Act, Funding Drug Trials for Medications Used by Children
The House of Representatives on Thursday approved 388-13 a health, labor and education spending bill including provisions funding clinical trials of generic drugs used by children and maintaining "flat" funding for the Ryan White CARE Act, according to an Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation release. The measure directs NIH to fund studies to prove whether certain generic drugs are safe and effective for use by children, according to the release. "There are still too many drugs used by children that have never been properly studied for pediatric use," Mark Isaac, vice president of EGPAF, said, adding, "We learned over the years that it is dangerous and sometimes tragic to assume that medications studied only in adults will work the same in children" (EGPAF release, 9/9). President Bush in 2002 signed into law the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act, which created an NIH research fund for pediatric studies of certain on-patent and generic drugs (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/22/03). The spending bill passed on Thursday "stresses the importance" of the research fund and directs NIH to identify drugs for pediatric study and begin clinical trials, according to the release. "We applaud the bipartisan support for the research fund at NIH, which advances our goal of ensuring that all drugs used by children are adequately studied and proven safe and effective for their use," Isaac said.
Ryan White CARE Act
In addition to the funding for the drug trials, the spending bill also included "flat" funding for the Ryan White CARE Act, according to the release (EGPAF release, 9/9). The Ryan White CARE Act funds more than 2,700 providers who serve a total of more than 500,000 people living with HIV/AIDS (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/24). "Considering the devastating impact that HIV continues to have on young people and their families, now is not the time to shortchange critical domestic HIV/AIDS programs, including Ryan White," Isaac said, adding, "We call on the Senate to do a better job of protecting the health of children and adults with HIV/AIDS" (EGPAF release, 9/9).