Medicines Committee

The Committee manages and supports projects in paediatric medicine. This is achieved in partnership with organisations that represent children and young people, parents, carers and health professionals.

About

The Medicines Committee is a unique collaborative standing committee with membership split between the RCPCH and Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG).

The Committee's key work areas are:

  • Consultation - Responds to consultation documents from the Government and outside agencies, including the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) - see below for current consultations
  • Lobbying - Advises and supports external agencies and parental bodies about the licensing, availability, use and surveillance of medicines in paediatric populations. This includes medicines used outside of the license, newly licensed products, unlicensed medicines for rare conditions and adverse reactions to medicines
  • Education - Supports education training and research in the field of safe prescribing

The Committee also supports several organisations in the following ways:

  • British National Formulary For Children (BNFC) - Inputs into policy issues on the development of this formulary and supports the production of future editions. BNFC information is available to most RCPCH members via Paediatric Care Online (PCO UK)
  • Medicines for Children - Assists with the development of this resource, which has practical and reliable information and videos for parents, covering more than 100 medicines
  • NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN): Children Specialty -  This is is one of over 30 specialties in the NIHR, bringing together communities of clinical practice to provide national networks of research expertise, and working to support the implementation of research into NHS practice. We support its function in relation to research opportunities and implications for practice
  • Meds IQ - Provides input into the governance and management of this online resource, which aims to improve medications safety in paediatric research and practice

Current work

Use of delayed prescriptions of antibiotics for infants and children

Delayed prescribing (also known as 'back up' prescribing) involves the supply of a prescription to a patient with clear instructions about when to obtain the treatment in relation to their symptoms. Our statement, endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), summarises current knowledge and highlights special issues when considering delayed prescriptions of antibiotics in infants and children.

Read full statement

Using standardised strengths of unlicensed liquid medicines in children - joint position statement

The Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG) and RCPCH have developed a list of strengths for the prescription of 17 medicines. These strengths should be prescribed where children require the unlicensed liquid medication, to minimise the risk of error and accidental under and overdoses.

It is also recommended that these strengths should be included in local guidance.

Read full statement

Consultations

During 2018-19 the Committee has so far submitted a consultation response to the following:

  • MHRA EU Exit no-deal contingency legislation for the regulation of medicines and medical devices
  • NICE Surveillance Review Proposal - MPG1 Developing and updating local formularies

Medicines safety

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and its independent advisor, Commission on Human Medicines, publish a monthly drug safety update - see current and recent editions.

Contact

For more information about the Medicines Committee please email: research@rcpch.ac.uk