Improving Safe and Effective Use of Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: Workshop Summary

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Abstract

In February 2015, given high rates of use of medications by pregnant women and the relative lack of data on safety and efficacy of many drugs utilized in pregnancy, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) convened a group of experts to review the “current” state of the clinical care and science regarding medication use during the perinatal period. The expert panel chose select medications to demonstrate what existing safety and efficacy data may be available for clinicians and patients when making decisions about use in pregnancy or lactation. Furthermore, these example medications also provided opportunities to highlight where data are lacking, thus forming a list of research gaps. Last, after reviewing the existing vaccine safety surveillance system as well as the legislative history surrounding the use of drugs for pediatric diseases, the expert panel made specific recommendations concerning policy efforts to stimulate more research and regulatory attention on drugs for pregnant and lactating women.

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