Pediatricians do not need to be convinced about the importance of pediatric research in saving the lives and improving the health of children. However, Congress does, as it sets funding priorities for a whole host of health programs and agencies.

Representing the Academy and others in the pediatfic academic research community, Russell Chesney, M.D., testified July 24 about the benefits of pediatric biomedical research within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) before the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources Public Health and Safety Subcommittee.

Despite existence of childhood diseases like juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Henoch-Schonlein Purpura and Kawasaki's Disease, very little is known about their causes, according to Dr. Chesney. Furthermore, only one fifth of the medications prescribed to children have had appropriate studies evaluating their efficacy and safety in children.

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