Australia – THE number of children aged six and under being prescribed anti-depressants has soared by almost 50 per cent since the federal government pledged to investigate the issue, new figures show.
Federal health department data reveals prescribing rates of the controversial drugs have risen from 852 in 2007-08 to 1264 in 2009-10.
But despite Health Minister Nicola Roxon ordering an investigation three years ago, a Freedom of Information request shows the government held just two meetings.
Australian Childhood Foundation chief executive Dr Joe Tucci said he would have expected the government to act by now. “I cannot think of a good reason why any six-year-old, or younger, should be treated with antidepressants,” he said. “I think it’s gone up because medication is being used to treat the symptoms and not the cause.”