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Paediatric Formulary Committee, London: BMJ Publishing Group, 2005, ISBN 0 85369 626 8
Doctors and health professionals now have access to what has been described as the most comprehensively researched source of information on paediatric medicines in the world. The British National Formulary for Children (BNF for Children) published in September 2005 covers all aspects of prescribing practice for children from birth up to the age of 18.
Those prescribing for children and babies have had a poor deal with reliable guidance on safe prescribing practice. For ethical reasons, children have rarely been involved in drug trials. But by protecting children from the risks of trials, many adult drugs have not been licensed for use in children. As a result, those prescribing for children have been left without manufacturers’ guidance on drug use and without easily accessible published evidence. Decisions on how best to use drugs and to calculate doses for children have frequently had to be made with support from only scant research evidence that …