The Medicines for Children Research Network: building on current success as we move forward

Author(s): Sabah G Attar, Vanessa Poustie & Michael W Beresford

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Medicines for Children Research Network (MCRN) was established in 2005, in response to the European Union Paediatric Regulation. Subsequently the Paediatric (Non-Medicines) Speciality Group (PSG) was set-up in 2009 as part of the NIHR Comprehensive Clinical Research Network to support a national portfolio of pediatric research studies that do not involve medicines. After 9 years in operation, the NIHR Clinical Research Network has been undergoing reconfiguration and from April 2014 the two portfolios, of MCRN and PSG, have come under combined management of the NIHR Clinical Research Network: Children’s Theme. The formation of the Children’s Theme provides an even greater opportunity for healthcare professionals and all those working in this field to collaborate to strengthen still further the delivery of children’s research as the new theme is taken forward. This update will outline the achievements of the NIHR MCRN and the PSG to date; and will describe the vision for supporting children’s research that will form part of the transition to the reconfigured Network.