Use of Antipsychotics For Kids Soars

Payments to psychiatrists from the drugs' makers soar at the same time
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2007 10:23 AM CDT
Bottles of prescription medications move along a production line at Medco Health Solutions, Inc.'s Willingboro Dispensing Pharmacy in this Feb. 28, 2006 file photo in Willingboro, N.J. Medco Health Solutions...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – The Times tackles the growing use of antipsychotic drugs in children, contentious because the drugs are risky and have no approved use for minors. But the trend is also questionable because it coincides with increasing payments to psychiatrists by the companies that market the drugs. In Minnesota, these payments rose sixfold from 2000 to 2005.

A study in that state shows that doctors who accept money from the makers of the drugs—which include Risperdal, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Abilify and Geodon—are much more likely to prescribe them, even to children. Direct payments to doctors to prescribe individual drugs are illegal, but large payments to the doctors for lectures on the benefits of those drugs are not.