(a) Required assessment. Except as provided in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section, each application for a new active ingredient, new indication, new dosage form, new dosing regimen, or new route of administration shall contain data that are adequate to assess the safety and effectiveness of the drug product for the claimed indications in all relevant pediatric subpopulations, and to support dosing and administration for each pediatric subpopulation for which the drug is safe and effective. Where the course of the disease and the effects of the drug are sufficiently similar in adults and pediatric patients, FDA may conclude that pediatric effectiveness can be extrapolated from adequate and well-controlled studies in adults usually supplemented with other information obtained in pediatric patients, such as pharmacokinetic studies. Studies may not be needed in each pediatric age group, if data from one age group can be extrapolated to another. Assessments of safety and effectiveness required under this section for a drug product that represents a meaningful therapeutic benefit over existing treatments for pediatric patients must be carried out using appropriate formulations for each age group(s) for which the assessment is required.
(b) Deferred submission. (1) FDA may, on its own initiative or at the request of an applicant, defer submission of some or all assessments of safety and effectiveness described in paragraph (a) of this section until after approval of the drug product for use in adults. Deferral may be granted if, among other reasons, the drug is ready for approval in adults before studies in pediatric patients are complete, or pediatric studies should be delayed until additional safety or effectiveness data have been collected. If an applicant requests deferred submission, the request must provide a certification from the applicant of the grounds for delaying pediatric studies, a description of the planned or ongoing studies, and evidence that the studies are being or will be conducted with due diligence and at the earliest possible time.
(2) If FDA determines that there is an adequate justification for temporarily delaying the submission of assessments of pediatric safety and effectiveness, the drug product may be approved for use in adults subject to the requirement that the applicant submit the required assessments within a specified time.
(c) Waivers --(1) General. FDA may grant a full or partial waiver of the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section on its own initiative or at the request of an applicant. A request for a waiver must provide an adequate justification.
(2) Full waiver. An applicant may request a waiver of the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section if the applicant certifies that:
(i) The drug product does not represent a meaningful therapeutic benefit over existing treatments for pediatric patients and is not likely to be used in a substantial number of pediatric patients;
(ii) Necessary studies are impossible or highly impractical because, e.g., the number of such patients is so small or geographically dispersed; or
(iii) There is evidence strongly suggesting that the drug product would be ineffective or unsafe in all pediatric age groups.
(3) Partial waiver. An applicant may request a waiver of the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section with respect to a specified pediatric age group, if the applicant certifies that:
(i) The drug product does not represent a meaningful therapeutic benefit over existing treatments for pediatric patients in that age group, and is not likely to be used in a substantial number of patients in that age group;
(ii) Necessary studies are impossible or highly impractical because, e.g., the number of patients in that age group is so small or geographically dispersed;
(iii) There is evidence strongly suggesting that the drug product would be ineffective or unsafe in that age group; or
(iv) The applicant can demonstrate that reasonable attempts to produce a pediatric formulation necessary for that age group have failed.
(4) FDA action on waiver. FDA shall grant a full or partial waiver, as appropriate, if the agency finds that there is a reasonable basis on which to conclude that one or more of the grounds for waiver specified in paragraphs (c)(2) or (c)(3) of this section have been met. If a waiver is granted on the ground that it is not possible to develop a pediatric formulation, the waiver will cover only those pediatric age groups requiring that formulation. If a waiver is granted because there is evidence that the product would be ineffective or unsafe in pediatric populations, this information will be included in the product's labeling.
(5) Definition of "meaningful therapeutic benefit". For purposes of this section and 201.23 of this chapter, a drug will be considered to offer a meaningful therapeutic benefit over existing therapies if FDA estimates that:
(i) If approved, the drug would represent a significant improvement in the treatment, diagnosis, or prevention of a disease, compared to marketed products adequately labeled for that use in the relevant pediatric population. Examples of how improvement might be demonstrated include, for example, evidence of increased effectiveness in treatment, prevention, or diagnosis of disease, elimination or substantial reduction of a treatment-limiting drug reaction, documented enhancement of compliance, or evidence of safety and effectiveness in a new subpopulation; or
(ii) The drug is in a class of drugs or for an indication for which there is a need for additional therapeutic options.
(d) Exemption for orphan drugs. This section does not apply to any drug for an indication or indications for which orphan designation has been granted under part 316, subpart C, of this chapter.