Report published on the uses of medicines for children in the European Union
A report on the survey of all uses of medicines for children in Europe was published today. The report is a key deliverable of the European Paediatric Regulation (EC) No 1901/2006 which aims to improve the health of children in the European Union.
The survey's results show that the prescription of off-label medicines (medicines used outside their marketing authorisation) and unauthorised medicines to children is still widespread in Europe.
The therapeutic classes that are used most frequently off-label or without a marketing authorisation are:
- antihypertensives (renin-angiotensin inhibitors and beta-blockers);
- proton-pump inhibitors and H2-receptor antagonists;
- antidepressants (mainly selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, serotonin-norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants);
- contraceptives (in adolescents);
- antibiotics (in very young children).
The results of the survey will support the work of the Paediatric Committee (PDCO) when it develops its next inventory of paediatric needs. This is a list which describes the different therapeutic areas where research into and development of medicines for children is especially needed. This applies to both old (off-patent) or new medicines (including authorised medicines and those under development).