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Supply problems of unlicensed and off-label medicines after discharge
  1. I C K Wong,
  2. N Basra,
  3. V W Yeung,
  4. Judith Cope
  1. Centre for Paediatric Pharmacy Research, The School of Pharmacy, Institute of Child Health, University of London and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Prof. I C K Wong
    Centre for Paediatric Pharmacy Research, School of Pharmacy, University of London, London WC1N 1AX, UK; ian.wong{at}


A total of 709 unlicensed and off-label medicines were prescribed for 338 patients discharged from a paediatric hospital between 1 November 2003 and 31 January 2004. Thirty three per cent of patients had difficulty obtaining these medications in primary care which caused treatment disruption. The main problems were: (1) community pharmacies being unable to supply; and (2) GPs’ refusal to prescribe.

  • unlicensed
  • off-label
  • general practitioners
  • prescribing
  • pharmacy

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  • Published Online First 22 May 2006

  • Competing interests: none declared

  • Funding: The School of Pharmacy, University of London

  • Present address of V W Yeung: Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), London, UK. The views expressed in this article do not represent the views of the MHRA.