Psychiatric Medications and Mental Health Research

AACAP advocates for funding increases for the research of child and adolescent disorders and to ensure the availability of improved treatment options. AACAP strongly supports the principle that needed mental health treatment services, including medication, must be available to all children.

Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act and the Pediatric Research Equity Act
The Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA) and the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA) encourage and require pharmaceutical companies to study the effectiveness of pharmaceuticals in children. PREA legally requires manufacturers to conduct a pediatric assessment of new medications and BPCA provides an incentive of six months of additional patent exclusivity for drug companies that conduct additional FDA requested pediatric studies. Data acquired from these studies are added to prescription labels to give providers and parents additional information on the safety and efficacy of these medications in children.

Congress is currently considering the reauthorization of both programs through the BPCA and PREA Reauthorization Act of 2012 (H.R. 4274). AACAP supports this bipartisan legislation to strengthen and permanently extend both BPCA and PREA.

Funding for Mental Health Research
Through the annual federal appropriations process, AACAP advocates for increased funding for federal agencies conducting research on child and adolescent mental health disorders, including the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).