On its front page, the Wall Street Journal (8/12, A1, Lagnado, Subscription Publication) reports that the office of the inspector general at the US Department of Health and Human Services has launched an investigation into the use of antipsychotic medications in youngsters within the Medicaid system. In addition, HHS agencies are now asking officials in each state to clamp down on prescription oversight of these medications in kids and teens on Medicaid. Currently, youngsters on Medicaid receive prescriptions for antipsychotic medications at a rate four times that of children with private health insurance. Some newer antipsychotics, which have received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of autism-associated irritability and bipolar disorder in youngsters, as well as schizophrenia, are being inappropriately used to treat behavioral problems in troubled kids, according to some physicians and policy analysts.
— “U.S. Probes Use of Antipsychotic Drugs on Children, The Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2013.