Lisan L. Parker, Ph.D, the Scientific Liason to the Stop TB Partnership at the TB Alliance, asked about the absence of children from TB trials. I caught up with her after the event, and she let me know about this website, which has the latest data on TB drugs in the pipeline. The Stop TB Partnership also has a blog on new developments in TB.
Dr. Burman responded to her question and acknowledged the grave consequences of children being left out of TB trials. Children are a “reservoir for infecting adults,” he said – and there are no child-friendly formulations even in the United States.
When the regimens we use today were developed, there were no children included in the clinical trials, he said. There was an assumption that children could be treated just as adults, based on their weight. But that was wrong.
“We have been under-dosing children for the last 40 years,” Burman said. “That’s what happens when you don’t include children in drug testing.”