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Monday 01 July 2002

A study of compliance with FDA recommendations for pemoline (Cylert).

By: Willy ME, Manda B, Shatin D, Drinkard CR, Graham DJ.

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2002 Jul;41(7):785-90

OBJECTIVE: To assess compliance with product labeling recommendations to use pemoline as second-line therapy for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and to obtain baseline and biweekly liver enzyme tests. METHOD: Retrospective cohort study using administrative claims data to identify first-line therapies and liver enzyme tests among pemoline users between January 1, 1998, and March 31, 2000. Prescriptions for first-line therapy were searched for 90 days prior to the first pemoline claim. Liver enzyme testing (baseline and follow-up) was compared between two groups (the prerecommendation cohort October 1,1998, to March 31, 1999, and the postrecommendation cohort October 1,1999, to March 31,2000). RESULTS: 1,308 patients received at least one pemoline prescription during the study period; 76% of patients < or = 20 years were male. ADHD was the claims-identified indication for 688 patients (52%). Despite the labeling recommendation for use as second-line therapy, only 237 ADHD patients (34%) received a first-line therapy prior to pemoline. Only 12% and 11% of the pre- and post-cohort patients, respectively, received baseline liver enzyme tests; 9% in the pre- and 12% in the post-cohort received at least one liver enzyme follow-up test. CONCLUSIONS: Compliance with product labeling was low for both recommendations. Understanding the reasons for this finding could help improve risk management strategies.

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