More than fifty doctors from hospitals across the United States gathered this past weekend at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in order to call attention to the blatant disparities and inequities in Children’s Clinical Trials. The three-day event kicked off the inaugural Spin to Save Kids! Challenge, organized by the Institute for Advanced Clinical Trials for Children (I-ACT), which has already raised almost $100,000 in pre-launch donations and will run through March 31.
The initiative calls for community groups, teams, and individuals across the country to participate in various online “spin activities,” using balls, tops, tire swings, and other things–as well as dancing and playing kids’ games–to call attention to the fact that, in almost all instances, the development of children’s medicines, vaccines, therapies, and medical devices lags egregiously behind the development of adult labels.
Donning their white coats, pediatricians, nurses, and pediatric public health officials from around the country have worked overtime the last three days to establish a world record for the continuous riding of the Magic Kingdom’s famous and beloved Spinning Tea Cups, with a single message: it’s critically important to accelerate the development of children’s labels:
“The issue of clinical trials for children is a deadly serious one,” says Betsy Garofalo, MD, Chair of the I-ACT Board of Directors. “While it’s long overdue that the biopharma and medical communities prioritize kids’ trials, in a post-COVID world, the need is inescapably urgent.”
I-ACT is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization exclusively committed to advancing and accelerating Children’s Clinical Trials. On average, it takes 15 years to complete a pediatric drug development program and nine years from adult approval for a pediatric label to be made. And because innovative drug development in pediatrics is slow and inadequate, more than 50% of the drugs used in children and 90% in neonates are prescribed off-label and without efficient data.
“COVID-19 proved that the world is unprepared to meet and manage the life-threatening challenge of a global pandemic,” said Kenneth Alexander, MD, PhD, Chief Division of Infectious Diseases at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, FL. “And children were the ones most notably left behind. Our team at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando was proud to be out in full force on the Tea Cups in order to call the nation’s attention to this disturbing inequity.”
Over the past two months, local groups and organizations in cities like Boston, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Philadelphia, and New York City have already heard the call. The iconic multi-city ping pong club WE ARE SPIN took on the challenge, putting their own unique spin on the project, while doctors and nurses at the University of Utah Children’s Hospitaltook to the mountains—skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating for children’s clinical trials. Throughout the entire month of March, other big names like Cycle Bar, the Orlando Mom Collective, and the International Children’s Advisory Network will take on the challenge in an effort to close the gap in children’s pharmaceutical development.
This inaugural event hopes to run annually and involve pediatricians and medical professionals nationwide. Donations will help I-ACT protect children; challenge pediatricians, bio-pharma companies, and clinical research organizations to contribute resources in order to solve the problem; and engage the public in helping advance Children’s Clinical Trials.
For more information on how to participate and donate, please visit https://www.spinchallenge.org/.
I-ACT for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring every child with a medical need receives timely access to the best therapies, and committed to advocating on behalf of children with the same level of urgency afforded to adults.
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