Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A third of community pharmacists don’t tell parents they are dispensing off-label drugs to children

12.07.2007
Forty per cent of community pharmacists have dispensed an off-label drug to a child in the last month, according to research published in the July issue of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

And although 78 per cent said they would tell a family doctor that the prescription they had written would have to be dispensed off-label – outside the terms of the drug’s product license – only 66 per cent felt they had a similar responsibility to inform the child’s parents.

Pharmacists said the most common off-label dispensing of prescribed and over-the-counter medicines involved giving a drug to a child who was younger than the recommended minimum age for the drug or giving them higher than the recommended dose.

Just under 500 community pharmacists, with wide-ranging experience and post-registration education, took part in the research, carried out by the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Aberdeen, UK.

“The community pharmacists who responded to the questionnaire appeared to be aware of – and concerned by - the issues surrounding off-label prescribing to children” says co-author Dr James McLay.

“What did concern us was that only 40 per cent of pharmacists said they had dispensed off-label medicines to children in the month before the survey.

“Having reviewed primary care prescribing levels, this 40 per cent figure was lower than expected and leads us to conclude that many pharmacists may not realise that they are dispensing off-label.

“And a third said they didn’t feel they had a responsibility to inform parents of off-label prescribing, possibly because this could suggest criticism of the family doctor who prescribed the drug.”

The researchers also found that most of the 482 randomly-selected pharmacists gained their knowledge of off-label dispensing through work experience rather than education.

“While all licensed medicines used to treat children have been rigorously tested before their general use, not all are specifically licensed for use by children” says Dr McLay.

“Until this situation is rectified, community pharmacists need to be competent and confident in recognising and dealing with drugs that are prescribed and dispensed outside their licensed use.

“Community pharmacists in the UK are responsible for overseeing the supply of prescription and over-the-counter medicine for use by children and ensuring that any off-label drugs are prescribed and dispensed appropriately.

“Give their role, we feel that greater emphasis should be placed on providing them with both undergraduate and postgraduate education in off-label dispensing, together with evidence-based information and training.”

More than 60 per cent of the community pharmacists surveyed said that they had been asked by a member of the public to sell over-the-counter medicines, such as antihistamines, analgesics and steroids, for off-label use in children,

Nearly all the respondents said that they used general drug guidelines or the pack insert to decide whether to dispense the drug, rather than specialist formularies or guidelines on dispensing to children.

“Despite the wide availability of specialised resources, such as Medicine for Children, published by the Royal College of Paediatricians, only one respondent said they used them” says Dr McLay.

“The situation should hopefully improve, as copies of the British National Formulary for Children have been made freely available to community pharmacists since the survey was carried out.”

Annette Whibley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/bjcp

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers

26.06.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

New research reveals impact of seismic surveys on zooplankton

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Correct connections are crucial

26.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>