Children covered by Medicaid are far more likely to be prescribed antipsychotic drugs than children covered by private insurance, and Medicaid-covered kids have a higher likelihood of being prescribed antipsychotics even if they have no psychotic symptoms. This is reported in the May19, 2010 Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) article, “Studies Shed Light on Risks and Trends in Pediatric Antipsychotic Prescribing.”
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP will pay Washington state nearly $10 million for improperly marketing Seroquel, a drug used to treat schizophrenia and manic depression. Federal and state officials say that AstraZeneca illegally paid for doctors to attend meetings at resorts, where those doctors would “advise” the drug maker about marketing messages for unapproved uses.
The FDA’s letter to Pfizer (PFE) describing overdoses of the antipsychotic Geodon given to 13 children in clinical trials is merely the latest in a long history of controversies that have dogged the drug at virtually every stage of its existence. Among those controversies: Discredited doctors allegedly prepared research on Geodon for the FDA; Pfizer allegedly promoted the drug for unapproved uses in kids; and the company allegedly paid a non-profit mental health advocacy group to promote Geodon for kids.
One in six service members is now taking at least one psychiatric drug, according to the Navy Times, with many soldiers taking “drug cocktail” combinations. Soldiers and military healthcare providers told the Military Times that psychiatric drugs are “being prescribed, consumed, shared and traded in combat zones.”
Federal officials say nearly 2,500 Massachusetts nursing home residents were given powerful antipsychotic drugs last year that were not intended or recommended for their medical condition.