Pharmacoepidemiology and quality of care have become highly visible topics in geriatric medicine circles of late—due in part to research suggesting that there are important adverse effects of commonly used medications in elderly patients (eg, falls and fractures of the hip).1 Relatively less attention has been focused on patients at the other end of the age spectrum—children and adolescents. Although their exposure to medications is less than in older patients, pediatric drug prescribing is not an insignificant concern. In one longitudinal study of 222 children,2 the average number of medication courses received was 8.5 during the first 5 years of life.

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