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Hospice Pharmacia (HP), a division of excelleRx, Inc, has released Pediatric Medication Use Guidelines (Pediatric MUGs)-HP's first evidence-based protocols developed specifically for use in the management of end-of-life symptoms for pediatric hospice patients. In addition to HP's Medication Use Guidelines intended for use in symptom management for adult hospice patients, HP is now able to provide its partnering hospices with comprehensive medication management protocols that are specific to a patient's age and symptom management needs.


Recent data published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicate that approximately 50,000 children die in the United States annually. Another 500,000 children face one or more life-threatening conditions every year. By comparison, approximately 2.3 million adults die in the United States each year.


Under current law, hospice care is available and funded through Medicare for all terminally ill persons in the United States. As with adults who face a life-limiting illness, children require hospice and palliative care geared to their special needs; end-of-life symptom management for pediatric hospice patients differs significantly from adult hospice patients.


While Hospice Pharmacia has always provided pharmaceutical care to the pediatric hospice patient, a formal document specific to pediatric palliative pharmacotherapy did not exist for its hospice partners. Pediatric patients have different dosing requirements and may metabolize certain drugs differently than adults, and those factors were accounted for in the medication protocols. In addition, parent company excelleRx is able to provide compounded medications and proper dosages for pediatric hospice patients in accordance with these evidence-based protocols.


Nurses and staff will have age-specific tips on pediatric dosing for different medications, pointers on how to mask the taste of medications for children, and key information on adverse effects that may be more pronounced in children than adults.


The Hospice Pharmacia Pediatric MUGs are now available to all hospices that partner with Hospice Pharmacia for pharmacy services. For additional information, please contact Dr Orsula Voltis Thomas, Chief Marketing and Strategic Development Officer, excelleRx, Inc, at 215-282-1602 or by e-mail at