“ADHD” Just Keeps Getting Busted: Study Finds Changes In Diet Alone Calmed Two Out Of Three Antsy Kids

vegetables
Image by Junior Libby

A new study by Dutch researchers confirms what many parents have already discovered:  changes in diet can have a profoundly calming effect on a child’s behavior.  The study, reported last month in The Lancet, found that for two-thirds of the children studied, changes in diet alone led to the elimination of the fidgety behavior so profitably labeled by psychiatrists as “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,“ or ADHD.

In no uncertain terms, the study’s lead author underscores diet as the main cause of ADHD.  “After the diet [was changed], they were just normal children with normal behavior. They were no longer more easily distracted, they were no more forgetful, there were no more temper-tantrums,” Dr. Lidy Pelsser said in an interview with NPR.  About the teachers and doctors who worked with children in the study and witnessed the marked changes in behavior, she said, “In fact, they were flabbergasted.”

CCHR has long advocated giving children with behavioral problems a complete physical exam by a non-psychiatric physician, as well as a nutritional evaluation by a qualified nutritionist, to discover any underlying physical or nutritional conditions causing behavioral difficulties.  Parents should also make sure that proper instructional solutions are being applied for any behavioral problems in the classroom, since children’s disruptive behavior can result from not fully understanding, and consequently falling behind in, or not being properly challenged by, their schoolwork.

By 2007, some 5.4 million children in the U.S., or 9.5% of all children ages 4-17, had at some time been labeled with the made-up “mental disorder” known as ADHD, according to figures from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  In Colorado, 7.6% of kids got the label; in Wyoming, 9.1%.  CDC figures show that boys are more than twice as likely to be labeled with it than girls.  (See Psychiatry: Labeling Kids with Bogus Mental Disorders).

Far more disturbing than the number of kids given this harmful and bogus label is the fact that nearly 3 million of them  – some 27,000 in Colorado and 5,000 in Wyoming – have been put on powerful  stimulant drugs that endanger their lives.   Categorized as Schedule ll drugs by the U.S.  Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and in the same class as cocaine, opium and morphine, ADHD drugs are highly addictive.  These drugs are also known to increase heart risks more than twofold and cause heart attacks, strokes, serious arrhythmias and sudden death in children.  Because of this, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires its most stringent, “black box” warning on ADHD (methylphenidate) drugs.   The drugs are also known to cause hallucinations, convulsions, suicidal thoughts and violent behavior in children.  (For more studies and international warnings on ADD/ADHD drugs, go to CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine, and for more information on documented side effects of psychiatric drugs in children, watch “Drugging Our Children – Side Effects”.)

For the failed practice of psychiatry, the revolving-door prescribing of these drugs for rambunctious and inattentive kids — despite the increased risks to these children – is a profitable business plan.  There are no lab tests, brain scans, or any other medical tests that can prove the existence of anything called “ADHD.”  The label is merely the subjective opinion of a psychiatric practitioner with a conflict of interest (profit motive), since he can bill Medicaid or private insurance companies for “managing” the “disorder” by writing prescriptions for years to come.

Indeed, a recent New York Times article detailed how psychiatrists now resort almost exclusively to psychiatric drugging because it is fast and profitable.   According to the article, a psychiatrist can earn $150 for three 15-minute patient visits for drug prescriptions compared with $90 for a 45-minute talk therapy session.  As one psychiatrist admitted, “I had to train myself not to get too interested in their problems.” No wonder a study reported several years ago in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that 90% of children visiting a psychiatrist for the first time left the office with one or more prescriptions for psychiatric drugs.

If a psychiatrist or other mental health practitioner has told you that any brain scan proves that your child has ADD or ADHD, or if your child has suffered side effects from taking any ADD/ADHD drug, or if any teacher has recommended or required that you put your child on ADHD drugs (which is illegal in Colorado: see “Protecting Your Children: Colorado Law Prohibits School Personnel From Recommending Psychiatric Drugs”), we want to talk to you.  Please contact us at 303-789-5225 or report the details of your experience here.

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New Study: Antidepressants Can Cause Chronic and Worsening Depression

Researchers Suggest Discontinuing Antidepressants As The Solution

Results of a new study published in the Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics supports what CCHR has long contended: that antidepressants can cause chronic and deepening depression in adults.  Antidepressants have been suspected for some time of triggering a neurobiochemical mechanism in the brain that worsens depression.  The new study suggests tapering down or discontinuing antidepressants is the solution to chronic or worsening depression (which we emphasize should be done only under a doctor’s supervision because of the potential for dangerous physical and mental symptoms during withdrawal).   A summary of the Journal’s study can be found here.

The theory of a “chemical imbalance” in the brain has never been proven.  Even official package inserts for antidepressants say only that depression “may be caused by a chemical imbalance” (emphasis added).  Administering drugs for a “chemical imbalance” that has never been proven is like administering chemotherapy when cancer has never been confirmed.   Meanwhile, what IS being proven are the dangerous side effects of antidepressants.  For international studies and warnings on the side effects of antidepressants, go to CCHR International’s psychiatric drug search engine.

At the same time studies are revealing the dangerous side effects of antidepressants, studies are also showing that antidepressants are no more effective in treating depression than a placebo (sugar pill) or the natural alternatives that we call “green mental health,” as found in this report.

If you have experienced adverse side effects from antidepressants or other psychiatric drugs, we want to know about it.  Please report it to us here or call us at 303-789-5225.

Please also report adverse side effects directly to the FDA here. The FDA admits that probably only 1% of all adverse drug effects are reported by patients or doctors.  Only by reporting all adverse drug reactions will the true scale of the damage done by psychiatric drugging be known.

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11-Year-Old Caught In The Crosshairs Between His Psychiatrist And Arvada Public Schools

Child Was Kept Four Days In A Psychiatric Hospital Because Of His Stick Drawings In School

An 11-year-old was arrested at his home on criminal charges for stick figures depicting violence that he had drawn in an Arvada public school, reportedly at the urging of his psychiatrist.  He was taken away in handcuffs to a psychiatric hospital 100 miles away in Colorado Springs and kept there for four days, according to his mother in an interview with Fox News.

The boy was being treated for so-called ADD (attention deficit disorder) and was told by his therapist to draw pictures in school to express his feelings instead of disrupting the class.  The boy reportedly had done so and was in the process of throwing the picture away when a teacher saw what she considered disturbing content and reported it.  According to a report by KDVR Denver Channel 31, school officials initially determined that the child was not a threat, but later changed their mind and called police.

Beyond the question of whether the school district’s zero-tolerance policy of dealing with violent imagery in the schools is too broad and does not take into account the circumstances of individual situations, how does a child go from being inattentive (having an “attention deficit”) to drawing a stick figure of himself pointing a gun at four other stick figures with the words “teachers they must die?”  The answer could lie in the fact that, instead of applying educational, medical, nutritional, and parental solutions to children’s restlessness and disruptive behavior, all too often teachers and school psychologists push parents to take their kids to psychiatrists, who label them with ADD and ADHD and put them on drugs.  (See “Colorado law prohibits school personnel from recommending psychiatric drugs.”)  The rambunctious behavior of boys makes them particularly susceptible to being labeled with ADD and ADHD.

ADD/ADHD drugs are powerful, addictive, psycho-stimulant drugs, some of which lab rats can’t distinguish from cocaine.  These mind-altering drugs are known to cause unwanted and disturbed behavioral changes that include mania, psychosis, hallucinations, delusional thinking, and suicidal thoughts.  (To read more about the side effects and international warnings on ADD/ADHD drugs, go to CCHR International’s psychiatric drugs search engine.)

ADD/ADHDHD drugs are also linked to violent behavior. School officials could well have remembered recent school shootings when they changed their mind and decided to follow school district policy and get the police involved.  At least nine of 13 recent school shooters were on, or in withdrawal from, psychiatric drugs at the time of their shootings, including one of the Columbine shooters.  (The other four have closed medical records.)

The truth is there are no blood tests, x-rays, brain scans or any other objective, physical test to confirm any “diagnosis” of ADD or ADHD.  Even the U.S. National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference on ADHD in the late 1990s concluded:  “…researchers have vigorously attempted to find proof that ADHD is caused by a chemical imbalance, but have come up with nothing.”

While ADD/ADHD drugs may make children quieter and more compliant in school, so would other chemical restraints like street drugs or alcohol.  None of these are workable, long-term solutions for the behavior problems of a growing and developing child.  The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child recently condemned the over-prescription of psychiatric drugs for ADHD, stating that parents need to be able to easily access alternative, educational, and social measures for helping their children with their problems.

At least one teacher decided to publicly criticize the psychiatric drugging of children – and she lost her job over it.  According to KPHO Channel 5 in Phoenix, Arizona, an English teacher refused to remove a bumper sticker on her car that cynically asked, “Have you drugged your kid today?”  As she explained, “It’s kind of a criticism of us tending to over-medicate hyperactive kids who might not need those medications.”  She is fighting to get her job back, claiming that her First Amendment rights were violated.

If you have been told that a chemical imbalance, brain scan, or anything else “confirms” that you or your child has ADD or ADHD, we want to talk to you.  Please report it here or call us at 303-789-5225.

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Protecting Your Children: Colorado Law Prohibits School Personnel From Recommending Psychiatric Drugs

CCHR Colorado continues to receive complaints from parents who are being pressured by teachers to put their children on “ADHD” or other psychiatric drugs because of the children’s behavior problems in the classroom.  This is a violation of Colorado state law.

Colorado Revised Statute 22-32-109 (1)(ee), passed by the Colorado legislature in 2003, requires the board of education of every school district in the state to have a policy “to prohibit school personnel from recommending or requiring the use of a psychotropic drug for any student.”  “Psychotropic” describes drugs capable of affecting the mind.

Students also cannot be subjected to any psychological or psychiatric screening, questionnaire, test, or evaluation without the prior, written consent of the parents (or the student, if of age).  The law also requires that parents should receive written disclosure of what will be done with the results of the testing: “School personnel shall not test or require a test for a child’s behavior without prior written permission from the parents or guardians or the child and prior written disclosure as to the disposition of the results or the testing therefrom.”

Parents of millions of schoolchildren worldwide have been told that their children have a “mental disorder” that requires them to be chemically restrained by powerful mind-altering psychiatric drugs, which carry long lists of dangerous side effects for children.  (CCHR’s newest DVD, “Dead Wrong: How Psychiatric Drugs Can Kill Your Child,” can be viewed online here: www.cchr.org.)

Often these children are simply smart and are bored in the classroom.  Many need additional instructional attention – educational solutions to educational problems.  Others are just exhibiting normal variations in the range of childhood and teen behavior.  Or they may have undiagnosed, underlying physical causes of their behavior, such as illness, infections, injuries, allergies, nutritional deficiencies, environmental toxins, etc., which a complete physical exam and a nutritional evaluation can discover.

Children are human beings who have every right to expect our protection, care, guidance, and the chance to reach their full potential.  They will be denied this if they are trapped in the verbal and chemical strait-jackets of psychiatry’s invented labels and mind-altering drugs.

According to Julian Whitaker, M.D.:

“You should under no circumstances allow your children to participate in school-based mental health screenings. Do not be misled by doublespeak from school boards, psychiatrists, counselors, or teachers.  Despite their veneer of identifying and helping those at risk, mental health screenings are little more than fishing expeditions, casting a broad net and reeling in millions of new psychiatric drug users.

“Write a note to your child’s teacher clearly stating that you refuse permission for the child to participate in any type of mental health screening. Include in the note the admonition that if the child undergoes screening without your knowledge, you will sue.”

If school personnel have recommended that you put your child on psychiatric drugs, we want to hear from you.  Report your experience here, or call us at 303-789-5225.

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Colorado Psychiatrists Fail to Disclose 2010 Disciplinary Actions

Three Colorado psychiatrists who were disciplined by the Colorado Medical Examiners Board in 2010 failed to publicly disclose the actions on their online physician profiles within 30 days of the actions, as required by law.   This finding has been reported to the Board by the Colorado chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, whose purpose includes “bringing all psychiatrists and psychologists back under the law.”

A review of the Board’s published summary of actions for 2010 found that psychiatrists John Frazier Alston, of Evergreen; Deborah Kaye (Smith) Parr, of Durango; and Ann Barbara Seig, of Englewood, were the subjects of public disciplinary actions.  Colorado requires disclosure of such disciplinary actions within 30 days of the actions, under the state’s Medical Transparency Act (C.R.S. 24-34-110).  The Act states the importance of such disclosure:

“the people of Colorado need to be fully informed about the past
practices of persons practicing a health care profession in this state
in order to make informed decisions when choosing a health care
provider and determining whether to proceed with a particular
regimen of care recommended by a health care provider….”

A review of the online physician profiles of these three psychiatrists finds that, as of today, all three still have the answer “No” to questions asking if any public disciplinary action has been taken or if any restriction has been placed on their licenses by the licensing board of any state or country:

John Frazier Alston

Deborah Kaye Parr

Ann Barbara Seig

However, public disciplinary actions have been taken against these psychiatrists and should have been disclosed, as follows:

Letter of Reprimand from the Texas Medical Board:  06/04/2010  On June 4, 2010, the [Texas Medical] Board and Deborah K. Parr, M.D., entered into AN AGREED ORDER PUBLICLY REPRIMANDING DR. PARR and requiring Dr. Parr to complete within one year 15 hours of CME [continuing medical education] in opioid dependence and chronic pain, and 15 hours in care and treatment of depressive disorders; and pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 within 90 days. The Board’s action was based on Dr. Parr’s failure to meet the standard of care in her treatment of two patients with substance abuse issues; and failure to prescribe dangerous drugs in a manner consistent with public health and welfare.

Failure to comply with the Medical Transparency Act is punishable by an administrative fine up to $5,000.

CCHR’s stated purpose is to make the world safe by bringing all psychiatrists and psychologists back under the law, getting their crimes and abusive practices and ideologies abolished and having them deprived of their unearned appropriations, thus restoring human rights to the field of mental health.  For more information on CCHR, go to www.cchrint.org.

If you have experienced abuse by any psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health worker, please report it here or call us at 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

To help forward the purpose of CCHR in Colorado and Wyoming, please make a tax-deductible contribution. Send a check payable to CCHR Colorado to: CCHR CO, PMB #516, 303 S. Broadway #200, Denver, CO 80209.  Your support is greatly appreciated.

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Seroquel’s Toll

Controversial Pill Now Marketed for Depression

By MARTHA ROSENBERG

Even though AstraZeneca’s antipsychotic Seroquel is the fifth best-selling medication in the US according to drugs.com, exceeded only by Lipitor, Nexium, Plavix and Advair diskus, its safety, effectiveness, clinical trial and promotion records are highly checkered.

An original backer, psychiatrist Richard Borison, was sentenced to a 15-year prison sentence in 1998 for a pay-to-play Seroquel research scheme.

Its US medical director Wayne MacFadden had sexual affairs with two different women involved with Seroquel research, say published reports.

Chicago psychiatrist Michael Reinstein received $500,000 from AstraZenenca and wrote 41,000 prescriptions for Seroquel reports the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica.

Psychiatrist Charles Nemeroff who left Emory University in disgrace after a Congressional investigation for unreported pharma income, promoted Seroquel in continuing medical education courses according to the web site of psychiatrist Daniel Carlat.

Florida child psychiatrist Jorge Armenteros was chairman of the FDA committee responsible for recommending Seroquel approvals while a paid AstraZeneca speaker himself, said the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2009.

Psychiatrist Charles Schulz’ high profile pro-Seroquel presentations are suspected of being colored by his AstraZeneca income says the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

And unexplained Iraq and Afghanistan troop deaths are linked to Seroquel reported the Associated Press in August.

Originally approved for schizophrenia in 1997, Seroquel has subsequently been approved for bipolar disorder, for some groups of kids and as an add-drug for depression. This “indications creep” has mostly flown below the public’s radar. Seroquel expansion to treat children in late 2009, for example, was noted as a mere “label change” on the FDA web site. Hello?

Even without its depression indication, Seroquel is big business for AstraZeneca, earning $4.9 billion in sales in 2009. It is the drug that North Carolina’s Medicaid spends the most on: $29.4 million per year, reports the Charlotte News and Observer.

But now, as AstraZeneca rolls out its “Still Trying to Get Ahead of Your Depression” campaign, there are new questions about Seroquel’s safety and effectiveness.

According to an FDA warning letter, an AstraZeneca sales representative during an unsolicited sales call on January 3, 2008 sold Seroquel as a treatment for major depressive disorder to a physician before it was approved for MDD, an infraction which is illegal.

Once Seroquel was approved for depression (as an add-on treatment to an antidepressant for patients with major depressive disorder who not have an adequate response to antidepressant therapy), its leave-behind sheets drew another FDA warning letter.

AstraZeneca implied patients would achieve “remission” from depression with Seroquel XR (extended release) as opposed to with an antidepressant alone, says FDA — a claim not backed up by clinical experience.

Seroquel’s effect on depression has only been demonstrated in two, six-week trials FDA further said and six weeks is “not a long enough time period to adequately assess remission.” (It was approved…why?)

Also the case study of “Catherine F.” depicted in leave-behind sheets is inaccurate says FDA because it suggests Seroquel alleviates “symptoms of sadness and loss of interest when this has not been demonstrated by substantial evidence or substantial clinical experience.” (It was approved…why?)

Even AstraZeneca’s own briefing to the FDA committee in 2009 admits a “failed study” in which both Seroquel and Lexapro “failed to differentiate from placebo” which is Clinical Trial for “didn’t work.”

Nor did AstraZeneca adequately disclose Seroquel risks says FDA which include increased mortality in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis, suicidality, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, hyperglycemia and diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, weight gain and other serious side effects.

In fact, in addition to risks like cataracts, seizures and increases in blood pressure in children and adolescents, already on the Seroquel label, FDA asked AstraZeneca to add the “risk of EPS and withdrawal syndrome in neonates” a few months ago: movement disorders which can affect mothers’ babies if the mothers are taking Seroquel and stop.

But the FDA might also look at what the government’s other hand is doing. In May the Office of the Army Surgeon General’s final report on the findings of its Pain Management Task Force unabashedly hawks Seroquel for an unapproved use.

“Physicians should consider these medications for sleep disorders,” says the 163-page report,” listing Ambien and Seroquel (quetiapine) “for nightmares” even though Seroquel has never been approved for insomnia, sleep disorders or “nightmares.”

Maybe the government will send itself a warning letter.

Martha Rosenberg can be reached at: martharosenberg@sbcglobal.net

This article was re-printed with permission from Martha Rosenberg.

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Study Reveals Top Ten Violence-Inducing Prescription Drugs [– Eight Are Psychiatric Drugs]

By Ethan A. Huff

(NaturalNews) The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) recently published a study in the journal PLoS One highlighting the worst prescription drug offenders that cause patients to become violent. Among the top-ten most dangerous are the antidepressants Pristiq (desvenlafaxine), Paxil (paroxetine) and Prozac (fluoxetine).

Concerns about the extreme negative side effects of many popular antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs have been on the rise, as these drugs not only cause severe health problems to users, but also pose a significant threat to society. The ISMP report indicates that, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System, many popular drugs are linked even to homicides.

Most of the drugs in the top ten most dangerous are antidepressants, but also included are an insomnia medication, an attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug, a malaria drug and an anti-smoking medication.

As reported in Time, the top ten list is as follows:

10. Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) – An antidepressant that affects serotonin and noradrenaline. The drug is 7.9 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

9. Venlafaxine (Effexor) – An antidepressant that treats anxiety disorders. The drug is 8.3 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

8. Fluvoxamine (Luvox) – A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drug that is 8.4 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

7. Triazolam (Halcion) – A benzodiazepine drug for insomnia that is 8.7 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

6. Atomoxetine (Strattera) – An ADHD drug that is 9 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

5. Mefoquine (Lariam) – A malaria drug that is 9.5 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

4. Amphetamines – This general class of ADHD drug is 9.6 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

3. Paroxetine (Paxil) – An SSRI antidepressant drug that is 10.3 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs. It is also linked to severe withdrawal symptoms and birth defects.

2. Fluoxetine (Prozac) – A popular SSRI antidepressant drug that is 10.9 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

1. Varenicline (Chantix) – An anti-smoking drug that is a shocking 18 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.


This article was re-printed with permission from Natural News Reader Service. You can read it here: Natural News

Note from CCHR: For an in-depth look at the link between psychiatric drugs and school shootings watch the Fox National News Exposé, Deadly Drugs

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First-Person Story: Aurora Public Schools as a Feeder Line to the Psychiatric Drugging of Children

Children are continually “under the microscope” of the school psychologist

This mother’s story illustrates how psychologists and psychiatrists have turned schools from places of learning into psychiatric clinics, “diagnosing” millions of schoolchildren with ADHD and other “mental disorders” that have no valid scientific basis, then pressuring parents to drug their children. For more information, read “Child Drugging: Psychiatry Destroying Lives”.  For information on the dangers of ADHD and other psychiatric drugs, click here.

My 7-year-old son attended an elementary school in the Aurora public school system last year.  A couple of weeks after my son started school, he began to experience some problems in keeping up with the schoolwork.

I volunteered to help in my child’s classroom a few hours per week.  I observed that the teacher was pushing ahead with the subject matter before many children had a chance to fully grasp it, and that words were being used that the children did not understand.  I understood why my son was becoming inattentive and unwilling to do his schoolwork in class.

I also witnessed the extent to which a school psychologist was present in the classroom.  Almost every time I spent time in that classroom, a psychologist came in and took notes while watching these kids.  I realized that this monitoring of the children was constant – that they were all being “put under the microscope” to find “abnormal” behavior.  I know that there were at least a few children in the classroom who were already considered to be “behavior problems.”

At the parent-teacher conferences for my son, I was surprised that two school psychologists also attended. They discussed how my child’s behavior was the problem.  I told them the real cause was educational issues and that an educational approach was needed.

The teacher suggested a problem-solving team (“PST”) meeting about my son with a group of teachers who worked together to find solutions for students who needed help.  At the PST meeting, a school psychologist was again in attendance.  The words “hyper” and “attention” were used numerous times.  The school psychologist took over the conversation.  She wanted my son in one of her behavioral groups, and although “ADHD” was not mentioned outright, it was quite obvious that was what she had concluded about my child.  I knew that I would be pressured to put my child on an ADHD drug next.  I had already heard the classroom teacher praising another mother for putting her child on an ADHD drug.

I did not consent to my son being in this behavioral group.  I had actually put a good amount of time learning about “ADHD” and was aware of the fact that there was no scientific evidence of its existence.  I said I would take the matter into my own hands and work with my child on his educational needs.  The school psychologist then responded that if she observed “symptoms” in a child, she was “required to report it.”  I felt she was subtly threatening me.  I felt that under pressure from the school psychologist, the school would continue to push for labeling my son with a mental disorder and putting him on drugs.

I removed my son from the school district, deciding instead to home-school him with the Applied Scholastics Online program.  It has allowed me to assess exactly what was previously missed in my child’s education and to zero in on any areas that need extra work.  Best of all, he is having a blast and is learning like a thirsty sponge!

*****

If you have experienced pressure from school personnel to have your child labeled with a mental disorder and drugged, and you want to talk about it, we want to talk to you. Email us or call 303-789-5225. All inquiries and communication will be handled in strictest confidence. We will take action.

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Top 10 Wyoming Medicaid Prescribers Wrote Prescriptions Totaling $5 Million on Six Antipsychotic Drugs in 2008 and 2009

U.S. Senator Requests List in Probe of Rising Medicaid Costs

Wyoming’s top 10 Medicaid prescribers of drugs at the center of a U.S. senator’s probe into fraud, waste and abuse in the Medicaid system wrote prescriptions on six antipsychotic drugs totaling $5 million in 2008 and 2009.

The Wyoming Department of Health compiled the data in response to a request from U.S. Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees Medicaid and Medicare.

In April the senator requested 2008 and 2009 data from all 50 state Medicaid agencies on the top 10 Medicaid prescribers for each of six antipsychotic and two narcotic drugs in an effort to identify “outlier” doctors who have prescribed certain drugs in much greater quantities than other doctors.

“The overutilization of prescription drugs, whether through drug abuse or outright fraud, plays a significant role in the rising cost of our health care system,” Grassley wrote.

The most glaring example, cited by Grassley in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, was a Florida doctor who wrote 96,685 prescriptions for psychiatric drugs in 21 months, with the cost billed to the state’s Medicaid program.

Because Wyoming’s top Medicaid antipsychotic prescribers are not identified by name in the Department of Health data, it is not possible to track any financial ties they might have with the pharmaceutical companies that make these drugs.  Such ties could lead to a higher use of the drugs and a higher cost to the Medicaid program without benefiting patients.

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Colorado Medicaid Doctor Prescribes a Whopping $1.1 Million of Antipsychotic Drugs in Just 2008 and 2009 Alone

Colorado’s top Medicaid prescriber of drugs at the center of a U.S. senator’s probe into fraud, waste and abuse in the Medicaid system billed nearly $1.1 million in 2008 and 2009 for 1,304 prescriptions written on four expensive antipsychotic drugs, according to data obtained by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Colorado.

The high-prescribing doctor was identified only by the prescriber identifier number 1093800559 in data compiled by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (CDHCPF) in response to a request from U.S. Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees Medicaid and Medicare.

In April the senator requested 2008 and 2009 data from all 50 state Medicaid agencies on the top 10 Medicaid prescribers for each of six antipsychotic and two narcotic drugs, citing his concern they are being overprescribed at great cost to the publicly-funded Medicaid and Medicare programs.  Following his review of the data, Grassley called for a federal investigation.

Collectively Colorado’s top 10 Medicaid prescribers of the six antipsychotic drugs in question billed Medicaid a total of $8,172,649 over the two-year period, billing $3,045,015 in 2008 and $5,127,634 in 2009 for a 68 percent increase.

Colorado taxpayers have good reason to be concerned not only about the mushrooming cost of expensive antipsychotic drugs prescribed by Medicaid psychiatrists, but also the medical costs of the physical damage these drugs can cause to the Medicaid patients taking them.

The ages of the patients for whom the prescriptions were written were not part of the released data, so it is not known whether the huge jump in prescriptions in Colorado reflects the growing nationwide trend of putting children on antipsychotics, especially poor children.  A Rutgers University study last year found that children from low-income families, like those on Medicaid, were four times as likely as the privately insured to be put on antipsychotic drugs.

Drug studies of newer antipsychotics have found they can cause serious side effects in children, including diabetes, obesity, elevated cholesterol, seizures and strokes.

According to a recent article in The New York Times, “a marketing juggernaut…has made antipsychotics the nation’s top-selling class of drugs by revenue, $14.6 billion last year, with prominent promotions aimed at children.”

Because none of Colorado’s top Medicaid antipsychotic prescribers is identified by name in the CDHCPF data, it is not possible to track any financial ties they might have with the pharmaceutical companies that make these drugs, which could lead to a higher use of the drugs and a higher cost to the Medicaid program without benefiting patients.

Recently enacted national health care reform will require pharmaceutical companies to disclose payments to doctors beginning in 2013.  In the meantime Eli Lilly & Co. and Pfizer, makers of two of the antipsychotic drugs targeted by Sen. Grassley, must already disclose their payments to doctors as part of agreements reached with the U.S. Department of Justice.

With Colorado already facing what the governor’s office estimates as  a $262 million general-fund shortfall for the current 2010-11 budget and facing another $1 billion shortfall in the 2011-12 budget year, details of the number and cost of prescriptions for antipsychotic and other psychiatric in the publicly-funded Medicaid program over the past 10 years should be made public, with a special focus on the increase in the number and cost of prescriptions written on antipsychotics for children.

If you or someone you know has been harmed by taking antipsychotic drugs and you want to talk about it, we want to talk to you.  Email us or call 303-789-5225. All inquiries and communication will be handled in strictest confidence. We will take action.

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http://psychiatricfraud.org/2010/10/colorado-medicaid-doctor-prescribes-a-whopping-1-1-million-of-antipsychotic-drugs-in-just-2008-and-2009-alone/