The pediatric population is heterogeneous group with markedly different pharmacokinetics from that in adults. However, conventionally adult dosage forms are fragmented to treat pediatric patients due to the poor availability of child friendly formulations in public health facilities. An observational, cross-sectional study was undertaken at pharmacy store and pediatric department at a tertiary care hospital. Each medicine with dosage form and strength was listed separately and compared with WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for Children (EMLc), Key tracer and Priority medicines for children. Prescribers were also interviewed using a validated structured questionnaire. Out of 27 drug groups listed in WHO EMLc, a large deficiency was observed in chemotherapeutics (47%), gastrointestinal (50%) and ophthalmic preparations (100%). Out of total 258 paediatric medicines, 55.8% were available. A gross deficiency of child specific dosage formulations was also observed. Majority (91%) of the prescriber confessed of using fragmented adult formulations and experienced drug administration problem. The availability of paediatric medicines in appropriate dosage formulations and strength is not satisfactory at public health facilities. Pharmacologically, children are separate group and their need should be addressed by including child friendly formulations in EML or having separate EMLc.
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