Innovative approaches to investigator-initiated, multicentre paediatric clinical trials in Canada

BMJ Open. 2019 Jun 27;9(6):e029024. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-029024.


Data from clinical trials are needed to guide the safe and effective use of medicines in children. Clinical trials are challenging to design and implement in all populations, and children present additional considerations. Several regions including the UK, USA and Europe have established clinical trial infrastructure to capitalise on expertise and promote clinical trials enrolling children. Our objective is to describe the partnerships and operational considerations for the development of paediatric clinical trials infrastructure in Canada. We describe the design and conduct of four emergency room paediatric trials, with four separate sponsors, across four provinces in parallel. Operations discussed include multisite contract development, centralised risk-based data monitoring, ethical review and patient engagement. We conclude with lessons learnt, additional challenges and potential solutions to facilitate drug development for children in Canada.

Keywords: clinical trials; ethics (see medical ethics); paediatrics.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Clinical Trials Data Monitoring Committees / organization & administration
  • Clinical Trials as Topic* / ethics
  • Clinical Trials as Topic* / methods
  • Clinical Trials as Topic* / organization & administration
  • Clinical Trials as Topic* / psychology
  • Drug Development* / methods
  • Drug Development* / organization & administration
  • Ethics, Research
  • Humans
  • Patient Participation
  • Pediatrics* / ethics
  • Pediatrics* / methods
  • Risk Management / methods