Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New Jersey: Medicaid spent $73 Million on Anti-Psychotics for children '00 - '07.

I've been blogging about the overuse of anti-psychotic drugs for children. Here are stats from one state in the nation, Medicaid ONLY - you can bet private insurance covers much more. These drugs are BIG BUSINESS, not healthcare.

See the full article HERE. Below is a preview:

New Jersey’s Medicaid program spent more than $73 million on antipsychotic medications for children less than 18 years old between 2000 and 2007, according to state records, even though the drugs weren’t approved by the FDA for treating kids. And a state official acknowledges the drugs may have been prescribed for conditions other than schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the approved uses. As a result, a state legislator is calling for an investigation and is formulating legislation.

“There are horror stories about these meds and there’s a reason they’re not prescribed for kids,” says New Jersey assemblyman Pat Diegnan, who adds that he plans to draft a bill to change the practice and to hold talks with the New Jersey attorney general’s office, which recently formed a task force to examine interactions between pharma and docs. “The entire issue is frightening and the state should be taking a closer look at this. I’m concerned about the casual prescribing by doctors and the enormous amount of money being spent.”

The disclosure comes amid growing debate over antipsychotics. At issue are fears that children are misdiagnosed; drugs are inadequately studied; some docs presribe the pills too readily, and drugmakers promote the meds improperly. As reported previously, a growing number of states are suing various drugmakers over marketing that led Medicaid programs to pay unnecessarily for the meds.


Michelle O'Neil said...

Yep. They wanted to put my daughter on prozac at three years old. My husband, the pharmacist said absolutly not. They have not studied the long terms effects on the developing brain.

"These drugs are BIG BUSINESS, not healthcare."

Well put Kim.

Amanda said...

On the news today I saw a lengthy article about a study that had shown there was no benefit in prozac over a placebo in most cases. By most cases they said there was no clear clinical advantage of using the drug. It seemed most people gained advantage by doing something about their condition which says a lot about our own ability to deal with things. May be the old addage of Mind over Matter really can ring true in this case.

Robin said...

True Story (friend of the family): A teenage boy was having some emotional problems, his mom had really bad insurance, so they put him on Zoloft, because it was a heck of alot cheaper than therapy. Two days later, he took the whole bottle. He survived (thank God) and rather than get him help they said, "Well that is sometimes a side effect of Zoloft". The next suicide attempt was four days later.

How can this make sense to anyone!!

Erica Orloff said...

I know a friend of a friend--been around her quite a few times--who trudges her son to specialist after specialist for more and more meds for all thse vague diagnoses. But this woman is an AWFUL parent. I mean, I am FAR from perfect, but you can just watch her parent and cringe. And yet she will find doctors to give this kid diagnoses that I don't even think exist. Kids' brains are still developing. Every blip of childhood doesn't need to be medicated.


Kim Stagliano said...

Somehow we've decided that boys should not act like boys. And then we've vaccinated and fed the children in toxicity - which affects behavior. I don't know how we extricate our kids. It ain't in a McDonald's bag or a pill - that much I do know.

Erica Orloff said...

My kids all eat healthy and I buy organic more and more. Now, the two middle ones want to go vegetarian--which I do anyway, except for occasional fish (like once or twice a month). They are 10 and 12, and I applaud them for wanting to do it--for them it's a moral decision. But the end result will be good health, I think. Every time I read about a beef recall, I cringe. What the hell is wrong with our food supply?!?!?!