A prospective study regarding the prescription habits of family pediatricians in Italy was conducted. Pediatricians from nine local health units in Southern Italy participated, describing their interventions on a total population of about 10,000 children. About 8,800 drugs were prescribed to over 6,000 children. Younger children received more prescriptions, as did boys with respect to girls in the 7-12 year age range. Although health care in Italy is free, the families in this study payed for the cost of more than half of the prescribed drugs. Respiratory system drugs and anti-infectives covered two-thirds of all prescriptions. The most common morbidities were acute pharyngotonsillitis, cough, and acute otitis media. A total of 288 different generic substances were prescribed during the study period, and paracetamol, amoxicillin, and beclomethasone were the most common. Despite the plethora of different drugs prescribed, a very limited number of these could have covered most of the patients' needs. Moreover, prescription practices did not adhere to current recommendations and were widely «evidence unbased». As highlighted from the results of this study, more effort must be devoted to improving the rational use of drugs in children.
|Translated title of the contribution||Prescription patterns of Italian family pediatricians and their lack of rationality|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Farmacia Clinica|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)