Children on Medicaid get more antipsychotics

For reasons that still aren't clear, children covered by Medicaid are prescribed antipsychotic drugs more often than those with private insurance, according to new federally-funded research.

The disparity is stunning. Children with Medicaid were prescribed antipsychotic drugs at four times the rate of those with private coverage, according to researchers from Rutgers and Columbia universities. What's more, children on Medicaid are more likely to get antipsychotics for less severe conditions.

These results should trouble policymakers, particularly when stacked up with evidence that the Medicaid population overall receives high levels of antipsychotic prescriptions, as well as the agitated elderly. This may benefit drugmakers, but it's questionable whether the elderly or Medicaid patients are getting appropriately medicated.

To get more information on this study:
- read this UPI piece

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