Sixty percent of CBRN medical countermeasures not approved for children

Only 60 percent of CBRN medical countermeasures are approved children, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Strategic National Stockpile contains medical countermeasures that are not approved for children, such as ciprofloxacin, a drug for the treatment of anthrax, plague and tularemia.

Creating medical countermeasures for children requires testing , which carries high costs and a high risk of failure. New countermeasures also have to deal with the difficulties of regulating the requirements for CBRN countermeasure materials and possible ethical and scientific hurdles.

HHS addresses the distribution of CBRN medical countermeasures for children in seven of its 12 emergency response plans. The HHS plans, however, only provide guidance at the national level, and not at the state or local level where distribution would occur.

A GAO review of 14 state and local emergency response plans found that every plan featured guidelines for the distribution of medical countermeasures to the pediatric population. HHS said it considers the needs of children a priority and progress in that area is ongoing.