Tag Archives: child psychiatrist

Texas Doctors Prescribe $47 Million Worth of Antipsychotic & Anti-Anixety Drugs, Primarily for Kids—One Child Psychiatrist Alone Wrote 27,000 Prescriptions For Xanax

With little oversight and apparent carte blanche, a relative handful of Texas physicians wrote $47 million worth of Medicaid prescriptions for powerful antipsychotic and anti-anxiety drugs over the past two years, according to a Star-Telegram analysis. The top five doctors alone wrote $18 million worth. Grassley asked Texas and other states for the top 10 prescribers who billed Medicaid for certain drugs. The Star-Telegram used prescriber numbers to identify the doctors, then sorted and tallied the drugs they were prescribing. Also reviewed was information on other mental-health drugs that have cost taxpayers about $1.3 billion during the past five years.

Most of the drugs have gone to children and adolescents, although prescribing the drugs to children, such as a toddler, is considered “off-label” — uses not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. Now the state’s Medicaid program is among others under scrutiny, after Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, began investigating the use of mental-health drugs this year.

Once Again Psychiatrists Top the List of Top Prescribers—And Are Heavily Funded by Pharma

Three San Diego doctors [all psychiatrists] who prescribe medications at the same time they are paid by drug companies as experts on the products figure into a broader national debate about whether playing both roles poses a conflict. California Watch, a project of the independent, nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting, compared two sets of data at the center of the debate — one a database of payments by drug companies to doctors nationwide and the other a list of the top antipsychotic prescribers in California’s Medi-Cal program for the poor and disabled.

“Sunshine: Best Rx for good medicine” by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

In the past few years, congressional investigations and state gift disclosure laws have raised eyebrows about these financial connections, especially where the amount that has been publicly reported is vastly less than what has actually been paid. For example, a congressional review I led from my position on the Senate Finance Committee revealed a troubling financial link between a drug maker and a child psychiatrist at Harvard, whose work led to a significant spike in diagnoses of pediatric bipolar disorders and prevalent use of antipsychotic medicines for children. Separately, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Wisconsin received more than $19 million from a medical device company, although he reported only receiving “more than $20,000” per year on his financial disclosure records to the university.