High prevalence of off-label and unlicensed paediatric prescribing in a hospital in Indonesia during the period Aug.—Oct. 2014

Autoři: Brechkerts Lieske Angruni Tukayo aff001;  Bruce Sunderland aff001;  Richard Parsons aff003;  Petra Czarniak aff001
Působiště autorů: School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Curtin University, Bentley, Western Australia, Australia aff001;  Health Polytechnic Jayapura Indonesian Ministry of Health, Jakarta, Indonesia aff002;  School of Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Speech Pathology, Curtin University, Bentley, Western Australia, Australia aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 15(1)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0227687



Data on off-label and unlicensed prescribing in children in Indonesia is limited. The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of off-label and unlicensed prescribing for paediatric patients in a public hospital, Indonesia.


A retrospective cross-sectional study of 200 randomly selected paediatric patients admitted to hospital between August and October 2014, collected patient details and all drugs prescribed. Licensed drugs were classified as off-label if there was a non-compliance with the Product Information for age, weight, indication, dose, frequency and route of administration, if there was a contraindication, special precautions or not recommended for children. Unlicensed drugs were those not approved for use in Indonesia. The main outcome was the prevalence of off-label or unlicensed prescribing to infants, children and adolescents and the impact of age group on off-label prescribing.


A total of 200 patients received 1961 medicines of which 1807/1961 (92.1%) were licensed and 154/1961 (7.9%) were unlicensed. There were 1403/1961 (71.5%) drugs prescribed off-label. More than half of the total drugs (n = 1066; 54.4%) were administered parenterally. Every patient was prescribed at least one off-label drug. Indication (n = 810; 34.6%) was the most common reason for off-label prescribing. Ranitidine was the most frequent drug prescribed off label. Darplex® (dihydroartemisinin and piperaquine), although manufactured in Indonesia, was unlicensed. There was a significant difference between age group and off-label prescribing in that children were prescribed significantly less off-label drugs (p<0.0003).


This study revealed a high prevalence of off-label and unlicensed drug use in paediatric patients in this hospital, exposing them to drug treatments or regimens that had not been approved by regulatory authorities. The high incidence of invasive parenteral prescribing is of concern for paediatric patients. Incentives are needed to encourage specific drug evaluation in paediatric populations.

Klíčová slova:

Adolescents – Drug information – Drug licensing – Drug research and development – Drugs – Infants – Pediatrics – Routes of administration


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