The association NETSTAP e. V.

The association NETSTAP e. V.

NETSTAP e.V. is a non-profit association of committed pediatricians, mainly from private practices and some outpatient clinics throughout Germany. Our mission is to improve and innovate medical care and drug therapy for children and adolescents and to make it as safe as possible.

Through NETSTAP, physicians and physician assistants are particularly well trained in dealing with children and adolescents in clinical studies and are connected through their own protected intranet network in cooperation with Kinderumwelt gGmbH.

At NETSTAP, we put a lot of thoughts into safe and forward-looking therapeutic procedures.

NETSTAP foundation

Pediatricians and adolescent physicians are familiar with the dilemma that – depending on the age group – in some cases about 70% of the medications prescribed to children have not been scientifically tested and approved by the authorities for this age group (problem of “off-label” medication).

However, this testing has become indispensable due to European legislation and the amended German Drug Law (see MoKi 2004; 152: 321-325) as well as further amendments. Therefore, in the meantime, more and more clinical studies in favor of children and adolescents have come our way.

Children who need to be vaccinated and those with allergological and pneumological diseases as well as ADHD, infections and obesity in Germany are mostly not found in clinics, but mainly with pediatricians in private practice.

However, physicians often lack the sound training to participate in good studies according to valid quality guidelines of “Good Clinical Practice (GCP)”.

Supported by this situation and the common experience gained by numerous pediatricians in an own multicenter study on sublingual immunotherapy (Allergy 2004; 59: 498-504), the association Network of Pediatricians for Clinical Studies in Allergology and Pneumology – NETSTAP for short – was founded in 2001.


1998 Start of an investigator initiated trial on sublingual immunotherapy (German multicenter study initiated by of NAPPA)
2001 Foundation of the Network of Pediatricians for Clinical Studies in Allergology and Pneumology (NETSTAP e.V.)
2002 First advanced training offer for GCP training. Since then NETSTAP offers 2-3 certified trainings per year at regular intervals in order to qualify investigators / investigator assistants according to GCP.
Since 2004 repeated presence on various annual meetings such as German Allergy Congress, German Society for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine as well as regional congresses (NAPPA/NDGKJ/WAPPA/SGKJ), where occasional GCP taster courses are held in addition to NETSTAP member meetings.
2008 Amendment of the statutes in order to be able to initiate practice-relevant research in pediatrics in a well-founded manner for a much broader circle of indications than before. Since then the association is called: NETwork of Pediatricians for Clinical Studies in Ambulant Pediatrics, the abbreviation NETSTAP remains.
2018 Member of Enpr-EMA (European Network of Paediatric Research) at the European Medicines Agency.
2019 First own NETSTAP meeting in Friedrichsdorf.
2022 Second NETSTAP meeting in Friedrichsdorf.

Special feature

It is important to the association that its members have the possibility to influence the content and design of studies. Ideally, this is achieved by seeking dialogue by sponsors with NETSTAP as early as possible, ideally when planning clinical trials, e.g. on the part of a pharmaceutical company. This is to ensure that the studies which will be conducted are of scientifical and clinical relevance to the pediatric medicine and the concerned patients.

Independent networks are of paramount importance, especially for pediatrics. This remains to be noted as a result of numerous meetings at European level, namely in regular discussions at the European Medicines Agency in the network of the “European Network of Paediatric Research” (Enpr-EMA), where NETSTAP has been a member since 2018 and is both listed as a Category I multidisciplinary network and is now involved in the internal Coordinating Group (CG). 

The reasons for this particular importance are manifold:

  • On the one hand, in the context of drug approval testing, the Pediatric Committee (PDCO) at the EMA attaches particular importance to network participation in clinical trials of drugs, whose approval can usually be assessed much more favorably.
  • On the other hand, a network creates considerably improved possibilities for reliable recruitment due to multilocal branching as well as internal support, which has become increasingly difficult today, not least due to the partly inflationary increase in administrative tasks.

Look at the pediatric study landscape in Germany, it can be stated that NETSTAP, as a nationwide network in pediatric and adolescent medicine, now has a unique charactaristic, especially thanks to its proven organizational structure and reliable consistency for over 20 years.

** Note: In the case of occupational or functional titles, all genders are always meant