16. November 2023

Why children require medicinal products that are tailored to their special needs


The sicker and younger a child is, the more important it is to act quickly and correctly. The fact that a child’s organism is still developing must be taken into consideration for therapies and treatments in this age group, especially when it comes to the dosage of the drugs to be administered.


The need for clinical drug studies in children and youths

Clinical research for this age group makes it possible to systematically determine the doses to be administered, because in a clinical study, each drug is examined individually. This is the safest way to avoid administering excessive doses of drugs to children and adolescents, as well as any adverse reactions or side effects associated with them. 

At present, only a few drugs are available that have been tested and approved for the treatment of sick children and adolescents. Most of the drugs currently used in children have never been tested in children or approved for use in children. 

Therefore, the backlog of drug testing for children and adolescents is huge.

Risk minimisation by clinical studies

Clinical studies involve the testing of drugs, vaccines, new treatment methods or diagnostic tests on humans. Clinical studies, also known as (drug or medicinal product) trials, have the following goals:


  • Determining the correct dose of a medicinal product
  • Ensuring efficacy in the treatment or prevention of a disease 
  • Recording the frequency of adverse drug reactions
  • Determining the value of a diagnostic test


OKIDS Children’s Research Network

As a non-profit organisation and subsidiary of the Austrian Society of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (ÖGKJ) it is the mission of OKIDS to make medicinal products safer and more effective for babies, children and adolescents. 

We coordinate the management and organisation of drug studies in children within our highly specialised network of paediatric centres in children’s hospitals and universities at six locations throughout Austria. We are also operating at a global level.

In our children’s research network, experienced children’s hospitals have come together to jointly conduct drug studies in children. The advantage of this network is that paediatricians pool their experience – on the one hand, this allows the best possible standard treatments for children in coordination between the centres, and on the other, it enables new treatment options to be tested in close cooperation between the centres and international networks.

This expertise, unique in Austria in the field of research into the safety and efficacy of drugs in children and adolescents, is made available by us, as a qualified network centre, to both academic studies and studies conducted by the pharmaceutical industry.


Learn more about OKIDS