Study: Some physicians uninformed about approved uses of drugs

It's hard enough making sure the pharmaceutical companies don't find tricky ways to pitch physicians on off-label uses of their drugs. Apparently, that's not the only problem out there with off-label prescriptions in the medical suite. Some physicians actually don't know that some typical uses of a given drug haven't been approved by the FDA, according to a new study published in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety.

To examine this issue, researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center surveyed 1,199 doctors on their prescribing patterns--including 599 primary-care physicians and 600 psychiatrists--in 2007 and 2008. They included 22 drug-indication pairs, ranging from drugs approved for on-label use to off-label use supported by medical evidence to off-label use typically considered ineffective.

The researchers found that doctors surveyed were only able to identify the FDA approval status of just over half of the 22 drug-indication pairs.

To learn more about this study:
- read this UPI piece

Related Article:
Federal prosecutors: Psychiatrist paid to tout off-label antidepressant use