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Prescriptions of epipens for children rise significantly in 12 years

Researchers from the University of Birmingham want to prompt a discussion about how many epipens should be prescribed per child, with research suggesting there has been a significant increase. 
Epipen_tile_Alamy.jpg

Researchers have found that prescriptions of adrenaline autoinjectors, commonly called epipens, for UK children with allergies have significantly increased.

A University of Birmingham group examined patient records from 2000 to 2012 at 500 UK general practices on the Health Improvement Network (THIN) database.

They found 23,837 children who were deemed at high risk of anaphylaxis and had been prescribed 98,737 epipens.

The study found that children were being prescribed, on average, 3.84 epipens per year over the 12-year period.

Big savings

Results showed there was a 33% rise in the number of epipens prescribed per at-risk child.

The research said that there has been little guidance for GPs on the optimal use of epipens, but the most recent

...

Researchers have found that prescriptions of adrenaline autoinjectors, commonly called epipens, for UK children with allergies have significantly increased. 


Results showed there was a 33% rise in the number of epipens prescribed per at-risk child
from 2000 to 2012. Picture: Alamy

A University of Birmingham group examined patient records from 2000 to 2012 at 500 UK general practices on the Health Improvement Network (THIN) database. 

They found 23,837 children who were deemed at high risk of anaphylaxis and had been prescribed 98,737 epipens. 

The study found that children were being prescribed, on average, 3.84 epipens per year over the 12-year period. 

Big savings 

Results showed there was a 33% rise in the number of epipens prescribed per at-risk child. 

The research said that there has been little guidance for GPs on the optimal use of epipens, but the most recent guidelines suggest that no more than two devices should be given per child. 

The devices have to be renewed annually and the researchers estimate that £7 million per year could be saved for the taxpayer. 


Diwakar et al (2017) Prescription rates of adrenaline auto-injectors for children in UK general practice: a retrospective cohort study. British Journal of General Practice. doi: 10.3399/bjgp17X689917

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