Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Off-label prescribing of medications is common, Canadian study suggests

Date:
April 16, 2012
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
A study evaluating off-label prescribing of medications in a primary care network in Canada suggests the practice is common, although it varies by medication, patient and physician characteristics, according to a new report.

A study evaluating off-label prescribing of medications in a primary care network in Canada suggests the practice is common, although it varies by medication, patient and physician characteristics, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication. The report is part of the journal's Health Care Reform series.

Related Articles


Off-label prescribing is the practice of using prescription medications for indications that have not received regulatory approval. The practice is suspected to be a factor of preventable adverse medication events, the authors write in their study background.

Tewodros Eguale, M.D., M.Sc., of McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and colleagues used the Medical Office of the XXI Century primary care electronic health record network research program in Quebec to examine off-label use. A total of 113 primary care physicians wrote 253,347 electronic prescriptions for 50,823 patients from January 2005 through December 2009.

Overall, 11 percent of medications were prescribed for an off-label indication and 79 percent of off-label use lacked strong scientific evidence, the results indicate. The authors note the magnitude of off-label use was less than in a U.S. study.

In the present study, the highest proportion of off-label prescribing involved central nervous system medications (26.3 percent), anti-infective agents (17.1 percent) and ear-nose-throat medications (15.2 percent), according to the study results.

The results indicate that medications with three or four approved indications were associated with lower off-label use compared to those with one or two approved indications. Medications approved after 1995 also were associated with lower off-label use than those approved before 1981. Physicians with high scores on evidence-based practice were less likely to prescribe off-label.

"In conclusion, our findings indicate that off-label prescribing is common in primary care and varies by drug class, the number of approved indications for the drug, the age of the drug, patients' sex and physicians' attitude toward evidence-based medicine," the authors conclude. "Electronic health records can be used to document treatment indication at the time of prescribing and may pave the way for enhanced postmarketing evaluation of drugs if linked to treatment outcomes."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tewodros Eguale, David L. Buckeridge, Nancy E. Winslade, Andrea Benedetti, James A. Hanley, Robyn Tamblyn. Drug, Patient, and Physician Characteristics Associated With Off-label Prescribing in Primary Care. Arch Intern Med, April 16, 2012 DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2012.340

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Off-label prescribing of medications is common, Canadian study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120416165649.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2012, April 16). Off-label prescribing of medications is common, Canadian study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120416165649.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Off-label prescribing of medications is common, Canadian study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120416165649.htm (accessed November 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins