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Prescribing of unlicensed medicines or licensed medicines for unlicensed applications in child and adolescent psychiatry

  • Joanne Johnson (a1) and Andrew F. Clark (a1)
Abstract
Aims and Method

Child and adolescent mental health services in north-west England (n=21) participated in a prospective collection of information regarding all instances of new prescribing of medication over the 6–month period September 1999 to February 2000.

Results

A total of 478 new prescriptions were issued to 411 individuals. Eight prescriptions (2%) were for an unlicensed drug and a further 188 (39%) were of licensed drugs but used in a manner outside of their product licence.

Clinical Implications

This level of unlicensed and outside-licence prescribing is similar to levels previously found in studies both within paediatric practice and in adult mental health practice. Anxiety about excessive beyond-licence prescribing by child mental health services is unlikely to be justified.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (1999) ABPI Compendium of Datasheets and Summaries of Product Characteristics 1999–2000. London: Datapharm.
British Medical Association & Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (2000) British National Formulary. London: BMA Books & Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.
Choonara, I. (2000) Clinical trials of medicines in children. BMJ, 321, 10931094.
Conroy, S., Choonara, I., Impicciatore, P., et al (2000) Survey of unlicensed and off label drug use in paediatric wards in European countries. BMJ, 320, 7982.
Emslie, G. J., Rush, J., Weinberg, W. A., et al (1997) A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of fluoxetine in children and adolescents with depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 54, 10311037.
Jensen, P. S., Bhatara, V. S., Vitiello, B., et al (1999) Psychoactive medication prescribing practices for US children: gaps between research and clinical practice. Journal of the American Academy for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 38, 557565.
Lowe-Ponsford, F. L. & Baldwin, D. S. (2000) Off-label prescribing by psychiatrists. Psychiatric Bulletin, 24, 415417.
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (2000) The Use of Unlicensed Medicines or Licensed Medicines for Unlicensed Applications in Paediatric Practice. London: Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
Royal College of Psychiatrists (2000) Good Psychiatric Practice 2000. Council Report CR83. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Sutcliffe, A. G. (1999) Prescribing medicines for children. BMJ, 319, 7071.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Prescribing of unlicensed medicines or licensed medicines for unlicensed applications in child and adolescent psychiatry

  • Joanne Johnson (a1) and Andrew F. Clark (a1)
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