NJ Legislator: Probe Antipsychotics, Kids & Medicaid


By Ed Silverman

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.

Florida, for instance, is reviewing whether antipsychotics were prescribed improperly for ADHD. “There are no studies that have shown they (atypicals) are safe, or for that matter, that they are effective for children,” Ronald Brown, a Temple University pediatric psychology professor who headed an American Psychological Association committee that examined the issue, told The St. Petersburg Times last year. “The bottom line is that the use of psychiatric medications far exceeds the evidence of safety and effectiveness.”…



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3 responses to “NJ Legislator: Probe Antipsychotics, Kids & Medicaid

  1. I was on three mind altering substances for 15 years and know firsthand the damage they can do. It is a crime against humanity that they are used as a solution for human problems, especially for little children.

    The public need to become aware of what is happening all around them before it is too late. Many more Americans are been destroyed daily by psychiatric drugs than in the wars they have been fighting. Stop using drugs to solve human problems before it is too late.

  2. someone

    peter breggin said it best … these drugs are CAUSING a psychiatric epidemic

  3. Cary Wagner

    It is illegal to take mind altering numbing sedating drugs for recreation. You go to jail. It should be illegal for psychiatrists to prescribe the atypical or typical antipsychotics and the like, to children, elderly or anyone for that matter unless a “medical diagnosis” not ” behavioral diagnosis” is made wherein that drug is proven to be beneficial. To date I know of no cure by drugs for autism, schizophrenia, bi polar, ADHD … Our society is becoming drugged, sedated, physically poisoned. The toxic drugs being issued to children and others does not get to the underlying behavioral issues, nor cure them. What the toxic pills do is KILL THE LIVER over time to name one issue. Not enough livers for transplant for this. Children are becoming a profitable market for the drug companies. It has been too easy for the psych world to push drugs for profit. It is illegal and immoral and the industry needs to stop and be held accountable for the damage done to so many children not to mention elderly and others. It is an abuse of power and authority. If the drugs worked, there would be no outcry against the industries promoting for profit the drugs.

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