Friday, May 11, 2007

Link Between Industry Payments and Use of Antipsychotics in Children Probed

Link Between Industry Payments and Use of Antipsychotics in Children Probed

Industry payments to Minnesota psychiatrists for speaking engagements and other activities rose sixfold from 2000 to 2005, while prescriptions of antipsychotics to children in the state's Medicaid program rose ninefold, the New York Times reports.

The story examines general trends in the use, often off-label, of atypical antipsychotics in children, and it focuses on Medicaid data from Minnesota between 2000 and 2005 because it's the one state that requires disclosure of industry payments to physicians.

Among the Times' findings:

—Psychiatrists who received $5000 or more from manufacturers of atypical antipsychotics on average wrote three times as many prescriptions for those drugs in children as those who received under that amount.

—Psychiatrists received a median of $1750 each from industry from 2000 to 2005, more than any other medical specialty in Minnesota.

—The cost to the state of antipsychotic drugs used in children increased 14-fold from 2000 to 2005, from $521,000 to $7.1 million.

The Times quotes Steven Hyman, former director of NIMH: "There's an irony that psychiatrists ask patients to have insights into themselves, but we don't connect the wires in our own lives about how money is affecting our profession and putting our patients at risk."

New York Times story (One-time registration required)

Related Journal Watch link(s):

Journal Watch Psychiatry on treating children with antipsychotics (Free)


(From Physician's First Watch)



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