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Trends in accessibility to medicines for children in New Zealand: 1998–2002

Article date: March 2004

By: Jocelyn Chui, June Tordoff, Julia Kennedy, in Volume 57, Issue 3, pages 322-327

Background Reported rates of unlicensed and off‐label use of medicines in children raise concerns regarding overall access of children to medicines

Objective To assess changes in availability of proprietary formulations suitable for infants and young children; licensing of medicines; and subsidization of medicines for children in New Zealand.

Methods Review of the New Ethicals Catalogue, New Ethicals Compendium, product data sheets and the New Zealand Pharmaceutical Schedule covering the years 1998–2002 inclusive.

Results There was a decrease in the total number of medicines licensed in New Zealand from 2014 to 1840; but there was an increase in the number and percentage of suitable formulations that were licensed for paediatric use from 616[31%] to 642[35%]. The number of suitable paediatric formulations that were subsidized decreased from 281[13.9%] to 260[14.1%]. The number of orally available chemical entities with suitable formulations, licensed and subsidized for paediatric use declined from 101[5.0%] to 94[5.1%], but all of these chemical entities that were withdrawn had therapeutic alternatives that were licensed and subsidized. Only 36% of new medicines that had licensing for children were licensed for the 0–23 month age group.

Conclusion There have been modest improvements in licensing of medicines for children in New Zealand from 1998 to 2002.

DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2125.2003.02014.x

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