Aim The prevalence of undocumented medical treatments among children is a significant issue, as well as many EU countries lack access to newly developed children friendly medicines. Consequently, there is a pressing need for supplementary resources that can facilitate informed decision-making regarding children’s medication. We therefore aim to describe the process of establishing a children’s Drug and Therapeutics Committee (cDTC), as well as the preparing and implementation of recommendations for children in the Capital region of Denmark Method Following the guidelines outlined by the World Health Organization a cDTC was established. Recommendations for pediatric medication practice were constructed from assessments of medication use patterns among children in the Capital Region between 2019 and 2021. The recommendations were meticulously crafted based on evaluation of the current marketing authorization landscape and existing best available evidence. Results In 2019, the Capital Region established the first cDTC supported by expert councils and an editorial board. A total of 2.429 purchase item numbers covering 1.222.846 defined daily doses and 592.088 purchased packages covering 10.200.000 defined daily doses were identified in the secondary and primary sectors, respectively. Three comprehensive lists covering recommendations for newborns and children were published between 2021 and 2020 totaling 331 recommended pharmaceutical products. The recommendations primarily intended for use in the secondary healthcare sector were implemented through the revision of 38 pediatric- and 6 neonatal product ranges throughout Capital region. Conclusion Recommendation lists for children governed by a cDTC provide a rational auxiliary tool that can be immediately implemented in the clinic.
Introduction Pharmaceutical treatment in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is challenging, and newborns are often exposed to numerous different medicines during their hospitalization There is currently insufficient knowledge of gestational age dependent medicine disposition, and accordingly the use of off-label medicines, i.e., use of medicines outside its approved marketing authorization, is high. This study aims to estimate the off-label medicine use in Danish neonatal departments. Methods By using data from the Danish National Pharmaceutical Hospital Purchase Database, we identified the most commonly occurring medicines and calculated the on/off-label ratios for premature and term neonates. Data was extracted on ATC level 5 and based on defined daily doses as per WHO. Results Data included was covering the 4 high-level NICUs and 10 of 13 of the intermediate/standard level neonatal departments in Denmark. Of the identified medicines, 87% and 70% did not have approved marketing authorization for use in premature and full-term neonates, respectively. Furthermore one-fifth of the top 100 medicines did not have a (Danish) marketing license. Overall, the presence of off-label medicines was widespread covering virtually all ATC groups and no ATC group had an off-label level lower than 50%. Finally, in 21% of the identified medicines, additives from 8 different chemical groups with potential deleterious effects for neonates were identified. Conclusion Off-label medication in the Danish neonatal departments is widespread, and the current state of neonatal official regulatory drug approval leaves both patients and neonatologists in a limbo between legal pharmaco-regulation and clinical need for pharmacotherapy in neonatology.