Objectives. To evaluate the pattern of drug prescription reimbursed by the National Health System in the Italian paediatric population. Methods. Prescriptions involving 982.035 children <14 years old, dispensed during 2003 by the retail pharmacies of 24 Italian local health units participating in the ARNO project, were analysed. Results. A total of 620.239 children (63%) received at least a drug prescription. The prescription prevalence rate is highest in children 1 year old and decreases with increasing age and it is higher in male. The antimicrobial for systemic use (main anatomical group J in the ATC classification) and respiratory drugs are the more prescribed drugs. Antibiotics and anti-asthmatics represent 80% of prescriptions. Amoxicillin + clavulanic acid is the most prescribed drug (22% of children; 9% of boxes) and the drug with the highest expenditure (5.1 million €; 11% of the total expenditure). Conclusions. Despite some limitations (only prescriptions for reimbursed drug were evaluated; the disease for which drug are prescribed is lacking), the ARNO database is a precious tool for evaluating the profiles of major drug utilizations and expenditures, and therapeutical needs. The analysis of data confirms precedent findings: much drugs are prescribed, belonging to few therapeutic classes, and a few widely prescribed drugs are typical of the Italian market with a questionable evidence based.
|Translated title of the contribution||Drug utilization profile in a large out-hospital Italian children population|
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||Ricerca e Pratica|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2004|
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