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Paediatric Research under the New EU Regulation on Clinical Trials: Old Issues New Challenges

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Regulating paediatric research means searching for the balance between two valuable goals: protecting children while ensuring they benefit from safe and efficient medicines. Different legal instruments were adopted in the EU in order to regulate clinical trials, foster paediatric research and promote European and international ethical guidelines. However a new Regulation on clinical trials was adopted in 2014, and might change the current framework of paediatric research. How does the new Regulation 536/2014 foster research on children taking into account both the EU Paediatric Regulation and the EU Ethical Recommendations? Does it live up to the standards of the Directive 2001/20/EC and does it represent a step forward in accordance with international ethical guidelines? This article shows that, despite the adoption of new rules, many clarifications are still needed. Stakeholders involved in paediatric research have to play a driving role in the implementation process of the new Regulation.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Biomedical Ethics, University of BaselSwitzerlandin partnership with the Centre for International and European Studies and Research (CERIC), UMR 7318 DICE, University of Aix-MarseilleFrance ; 2: Espace Éthique Méditerranéen, UMR 7268 ADÈS, Aix-Marseille University-EFS-CNRS, EEM/ ERERI-PACA Corse, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de MarseilleFrance

* Acknowledgements: The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013 under grant agreements no. 261060 (GRiP network of excellence) and no. 261483 (DEEP). Scientific support was received from TEDDY-European Network of Excellence for Paediatric Clinical Research. Support and funding from the University of Basel are also gratefully acknowledged.

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