Treatments available to children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) have improved dramatically in the past 15 years, largely because of the development of powerful new biologic treatments. However, the seeds of this development were sewed over 40 years ago with the formation of a group of paediatric rheumatologists who understood the necessity of performing clinical trials in children with JIA. From there, international paediatric rheumatology networks have grown, and are dedicated to and highly experienced in performing such clinical trials. Development of validated outcomes and methodologies has also been critical. The ability to perform these trials stems from legislation enabling the FDA and the European Medicines Agency to require studies to be performed in children before they can be licensed for use in children. Current efforts to enhance the understanding of treatment options for patients with JIA include the development of disease-specific rather than drug-specific consolidated registries, studies in personalized predictive medicine and the development of treatment protocols for regular clinical care of these patients.
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