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The launch of the British National Formulary for Children
  1. A Elias-Jones1,
  2. G Rylance2
  1. 1Leicester Royal Infirmary, UK
  2. 2Royal Victoria Infirmary, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr A Elias-Jones
    Department of Paediatrics, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Havelock Street, Leicester LE1 5WW, UK;

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A definitive formulary

On 14 July 2005, the official launch of the British National Formulary for Children (BNF-C), attended by HRH Princess Anne, was hosted at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).

This definitive formulary is the result of cooperation between the British National Formulary team (BNF) and the team that produced the Medicines for Children (MfC) books whose second editions were published in September 2003.

There has been a clear recognition that children have been disadvantaged by the requirement to receive medicines not licensed for use in children or off label applications. Studies have shown the problem to be worse still in neonatal practice where up to 93% of babies receive at least one unlicensed or off label medicine during their stay in intensive care.1 The use of unlicensed drugs and off label carries significant risks highlighted in many publications.2,3

Hence, the first edition of Medicines for Children was published by RCPCH Publications Ltd in 1999. The work involved in producing the book was an immense achievement and involved the cooperation of many paediatricians with expertise in paediatric prescribing and members of the Neonatal and Paediatrics Pharmacists Group (NPPG) under the supervision of the RCPCH Medicines Committee chaired by Professor Sir David Hull. The pocket book edition followed in 2001. …

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