A 2006 Archives of Internal Medicine study of 725 million prescriptions found that about one in five orders was written off-label — that is, for a condition that has not received the Food and Drug Administration’s approval as a safe and effective use of the drug. More than 70% of these off-label prescriptions were for indications in which the drug ordered had little or no scientific support.
The results of a new survey in the Aug. 21 Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety add more cause for concern, experts said. Four in 10 doctors queried about 22 medications believed at least one of the drugs was FDA-approved for a given indication when it was not so labeled and lacked scientific evidence backing the prescribing decision.
The whole shebang.