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Discussing the Spin to Save Kids challenge

Cindy Jackson, DO, FAAP, discusses the creation of the Spin to Save Kids challenge for bringing awareness to the disparities in pediatric drug development.

In this interview, Cindy Jackson DO, FAAP, chief operating officer of The Institute for Advanced Clinical Trials for Children (I-ACT for Children) discusses the disparities in children's pharmaceutical drug development, and how the Spin to Save Kids challenge was created to address these issues.

According to Jackson, the Spin to Save Kids challenge was created to amplify awareness about clinical trials for children. Many drugs advertised for adults aren't approved for children, making them used in an off-label manner in the pediatric population. The time between a drug being approved in adults and that same drug being approved in children can reach up to 7 to 9 years on average, with Jackson seeing some take up to 20 years.

Jackson said the biggest reason for this disparity is that most drugs are being developed for use in adults. Most children don't have chronic conditions seen in adults, making the demand for these drugs in children low. Because of this, more public engagement can help improve the process of pediatric drug development.

COVID-19 also had an impact on pediatric drug development. While certain trials were slowed down by overrun hospitals and lockdowns, clinical trials were discussed publicly for the first time Jackson was aware of. Children were given conditional use for the COVID-19 vaccine about a year after the adult vaccine was made, showing that the "lag time" Jackson has seen can be avoided.

Jackson compared the Spin to Save Kids challenge to the ice bucket challenge, with people being able to post videos of themselves spinning anything. This makes the challenge an easy method of spreading awareness of clinical research for pediatric drugs.

I-ACT for Children was created officially in 2016, after a meeting sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2014 discussing how to improve the process of pediatric drug development. The need for a nonprofit organization for guidance and the formation of a clinical trials network were analyzed during the meeting.

For more information on the Spin to Save Kids challenge, visit spinchallenge.org.