Two Sessions members try to tackle children’s medicine shortage

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There is a shortage of medicines for children in China. That leaves doctors no choice but to prescribe drugs meant for adults to children. This is despite the fact that more than 6,000 drug companies exist in China. 


CGTN’s Wu Guoxiu reports.

Two Sessions members try to tackle children’s medicine shortage

Two Sessions members try to tackle children’s medicine shortage

There is a shortage of medicines for children in China. That leaves doctors no choice but to prescribe drugs meant for adults to children. This is despite the fact that more than 6,000 drug companies exist in China. CGTN’s Wu Guoxiu reports.
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In China, there are only about 60 approved drugs suitable for the 220 million children there.A government report said children’s medication make up less than 2 percent of all approved drugs in China.

It’s a concern for Ding Jie, a CPPCC member and the head of the Peking University First Hospital.

“The shortage is very, very serious, especially for children under three years old. We always have to give them drugs meant for adults, like a quarter of a pill,” Ding said. “And, many drugs have descriptions which say they haven’t been tested on children. So we have to ask parents to sign a consent form saying they understand the risks.”

Yabao Pharmaceuticals began developing children’s medicine in the 1990s. This was a decision made by the board’s chairman, Ren Wuxian. He is also a deputy of the National People’s Congress. Yabao Pharmaceuticals said it spends 30 percent of its research funds on developing children’s drugs. This includes both traditional and conventional Chinese medicine. But the company said children’s medicine is not a lucrative market.

Among the 6,000 or so pharmaceutical companies in China, only about a dozen specialize in children’s medication.