News Perspectives

RSV Drug Recommended for Fewer Babies

A large group of children's doctors says that only certain high-risk babies should receive a drug to prevent severe problems from a common virus. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that evidence now shows other children are unlikely to benefit. But the new advice has led to a strong protest by the drugmaker. The drug is palivizumab (Synagis). It is given as a monthly shot to help prevent severe problems from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Nearly all children become infected with RSV by age 2. For most, it's a mild illness. But RSV is also the most common cause of pneumonia in babies. The new AAP statement narrows the definition of which "high-risk" babies should get the drug. It says that research shows benefit for only a few groups.

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