Today, the Ripon Advance, a Washington DC-based public policy news firm, featured an article about the House introduction of H.R.5182, The Promoting Life-Saving New Therapies for Neonates Act. The news firm writes, "H.R.5182, introduced by [Rep. Billy Long R-MO] and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), would promote innovative neonatal drug therapies that improve outcomes for at-risk infants." The article goes on to highlight the fact that families with children who are born prematurely or sick simply do not have enough options to save their newborns and explains that the bill aims to make life-saving treatments for at-risk newborns more widely available.
Reps. Luján and Long Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Encourage Development of Life-Saving Treatments for Newborns
Today, Reps. Billy Long (R-MO) and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) issued a press release surrounding the release of their House bill, “Promoting Life-Saving New Therapies for Neonates Act of 2016.” The bill addresses the fact that no new drugs developed specifically to treat newborns have been approved since 1999, and thus aims to spur development of drugs that can improve outcomes for devastating neonatal conditions.
“When it comes to the development of new treatments that have the potential and promise to save lives, our most vulnerable children are too often left behind. The fact is a variety of factors and challenges have hindered the development of much-needed therapies and stood in the way of progress treating newborns,” Rep. Luján said. “This legislation will provide incentives to stimulate innovation and encourage research and development in this area of great need. In recent years, we have seen tremendous medical advancements, and with this bill, we can see that our youngest children can benefit from the next breakthrough.”
A number of published studies now show, as reported by Science Daily, that nearly one in four babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) receive acid suppressing medication, despite the fact that the drugs have not been approved for newborns. These drugs have proven to be dangerous for newborns as several of these studies show that the use of acid suppression medications in hospitalized high-risk babies is often associated with infection, necrotizing enterocolitis and increased risk of death. Therefore, Science Daily stresses the importance of the research community in studying the effectiveness and safety of these drugs for newborns.