Legislation in Texas requires doctors to get state permission before prescribing psychiatric drugs for kids on Medicaid

Following in the footsteps of Florida: Texas now requires more stringent prescribing laws for these highly toxic drugs.

The number of poor Texas children on powerful psychiatric drugs could drop dramatically under a bill lawmakers are considering to halt unwarranted prescriptions.

Rep. Sylvester Turner’s bill would prohibit doctors from prescribing anti-psychotic drugs to children younger than 11 who are covered by Medicaid unless they get special permission from the state.

Drug companies and medical professionals fear the measure would take control out of the hands of doctors and parents.

Thousands of Texas children under 2 years old have been prescribed anti-psychotics like Seroquel and Risperdal, Turner said – drugs that treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but can produce harmful side effects in children. His measure would force state health officials to review individual prescriptions, considering a child’s diagnosis and whether a drug has federal approval for use in juveniles before approving the prescription. (read the rest)

16 thoughts on “Legislation in Texas requires doctors to get state permission before prescribing psychiatric drugs for kids on Medicaid

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  1. Gianna and Mama Dharma,

    Californian banned it for all kids under 5.
    When this was brought up in the House Committee, I swear you could hear the pharma/psych/NAMI boys cringe….

    Mama Dharma,

    It is all about money….Trust your gut on this.
    There’s a paper trail a mile long on all these drugs – lies, deceipt, falsification of data, withholding data to the FDA, not publishing…Fraud – big-time fraud!

    The states have sued, and keep suing for crimes against the state – monetary damages from payment of these drugs – misdeanor fraud mostly….Time for some criminal trials for injury and death – to the “people” – not the state….Not civil courts, criminal courts!

    Charges of bodily injury, and death….manslaugher, negligent homicide – Jail time for the top mgt of Big Pharma, top researchers who were privy to this information, and did not inform the American “people” (not the states.

    One step at a time….We’ll get there!


    P.S.: Any NAMI boys out there? Sue me.

  2. Doug,

    I’m glad you three docs are putting this together…

    I get tired of being considered a “fringe group”….
    Those of us who want to see some reason and common sense put into the field of psychiatry….We’re gonna need some docs to give us credibility…in order to be really listened to….

    Some of us “survivors” have grown tired of watching our friends, and people we care about get so drugged up that they can hardly function, and have to find their own ways to deal with the fallout – withdrawal, regaining confidence….regaining a life, for that matter!

    And, it’s somehow “radical” to stand up for kids….Almost a third of the kids in Texas in the Foster care program are on strong antipscyhotics drugs…a third! For anything under the sun they’re given these drugs…anything!

    These clowns who are down in Austin screaming their lungs out….the NAMI boys, the conventional shrinks, the pharma lobby – They’re getting fat and happy off lots of kickback money – from the doctors to the “advocacy groups”…..

    This crap needs to come to a screatching-halt!


  3. I’m with you Leah…absolutely…ban it all for children…

    and their should be restrictions on how long adults can be on them as well…

    it’s a nightmare…there is not infrastructure for alternatives as of yet…that is why it continues unabated.

    we need sound, safe alternatives, people who are trained to not be afraid with people in extreme states, children and adults, in order to implement such policy…we don’t have such people in high enough numbers right now…

    that is why paradigm shift is necessary.

  4. I hope this legislation passes in TX and that other states follow suit.

    I could be wrong but I take the cynical view that this is about money – those damned drugs are expensive.

    I also don’t think the FL and TX (proposed) legislation go far enough. Call me radical, but I support a total ban on neuroleptics for children. I don’t care what the diagnosis is. They deserve better than chemical straitjackets.

  5. I wouldn’t call it dissent, I (hopefully) would call it the wave of the future. Myself and three other psychiatrist bloggers whom you probably know well are going to combine our psych blogging together and call it ‘The New Psychiatry’. Stay tuned.

  6. I don’t believe in bipolar disorder in four year olds. That is clearly a sign of insanity in our profession. Another is the massive extension of atypical antipsychotics to all mood disorders. Both the result of the pharmaceutical industry pushing expansion into these ‘markets’ through their academic psychiatrist proxies.

  7. Dr. Bremner,

    It seems to me that conventional psychiatry is trying to have it both-ways….

    In other words, they have insisted for years that “schizophrenia” and
    “bipolar” were genetic, biological illnesses – affecting a small percentage of the population (maybe 3% collectively), and with the onset in the late teens, or early 20s….

    Now, juvenile “bipolar” has had a 40-fold increase, these “illnesses” can be diagnosed at younger and younger ages….

    But, the most telling part to me is the percentages…Once maybe 1% of the population…..now effects 30% of youth who find themselves in a foster care system….

    So, is it “biological”, or only biological when a kid has parents? Is it “biological”, or only biological when a kid hasn’t broken the law, or is in a family where he/she is in the Medicaid system.

    Anybody who can’t see the scam of this has got to have a blindfold on, or their head in the sand….

    This is the biggest damned scam to ever hit this country, by the largest lobbying group….who will stop at nothing….nothing – even if it means injuring and killing kids.


  8. I’ll just quote what I said last year after the FDA convened a panel on the topic of use of antipsychotic medications in children:

    “The committee said they were “frustrated” and that a stronger label warning was needed because of the risks of diabetes, obesity, and tardive dyskinesia. But the FDA basically shrugged their shoulders and said that the problem lies with the prescribing doctors and that the medical societies need to do more education. I would have to agree with other writers on the topic that a medical culture of overuse of these medications and underemphasis of risk is largely to blame for the problem.

    “OK, here’s your education

    “Stop giving antipsychotics to kids who don’t have the diagnosis of childhood schizophrenia.”

    That prompted Philip Dawdy to write on Furious Seasons:

    “Best comment by a psychiatrist ever. Here is your education. Stop giving antipsychotics to children without schizophrenia.”

    The point is that the only FDA approved use is for childhood schizophrenia, and I think Tourettes.

    I also posted a list of examples of two, three and four year olds given antipsychotics from the NJ Medicaid database provided by Lisa Van Syckel.

  9. Gianna,

    The title is very confusing, and really pretty misleading….
    The bill requires it, but not the “law” yet, because the bill is not yet law….

    They could have made all of that clear, and they didn’t….

    We’re gonna make sure it becomes law – How’s that!!!


  10. Stacy,

    Although Gianna’s site doesn’t get into politics all too often, I think it would be fair to say that I’m a pretty libertarian guy (for the most part anyway, although I certainly think the federal govt has some role – enforcing the law, protecting the “people” from monopolies, crime by big business, etc)….

    In fact, if you asked Gianna (from our few conversations on politics, she would probably say that was a bit of an understatement)…..

    Anyway, I would normally agree with you, but not in this case.

    Laws were broken to gain FDA approval on these drugs, and even more laws were broken to tout their use for children – criminal laws against the states under Medicai.

    The FDA violations, and crime against the states are small compared to the felonies they have yet to be charge with, and need to be charged with….

    Many of the researchers, and certainly the top people with the major pharmaceutical companies broke the law – criminal violations of countless kinds – not the least would be manslaughter, and negligent homicide.

    That’s right NAMI boys (any eavsdroppers on this blog)….negligent homicide.

    Their day will come. One thing at a time….Protecting our kids in the immediate place they find themselves has to be first – primarily in Medicaid, foster care, and juvenile justice systems…..Those are areas the states need to protect kids, and an area where they have to protect themselves as well….

    Most state attorney generals either have sued, or are in the middle of lawsuits – criminal lawsuits for Medicaid fraud against the same drugs by the same manufacturers….Doesn’t make much sense to me that the states would even consider anything less than putting some safeguards up for kids….Their hand is forced, and yet they still don’t want to do it….Big Pharma is the most powerful lobby our country has ever seen – in its entire history…

    Go to the Alliance for Human Research Protection at ahrp.org – Type in some keywords of your choosing, and read about the money trail, the crime, the corruption, the injury, and the death these drugs have caused.


  11. Gianna,

    I wanted to clarify something….

    This bill is not yet law….still just a bill.

    The bill was introduced by Turner (Hoston), but is still pending in the Public Health Committee of the Texas House of Representatives.

    The Dallas Morning News article might have been confusing…The bill had committee hearing, which John and I testified in, but it still needs to get out of committe, and for a house floor vote, and onto the Texas Senate (for their version.

    So, we have quite a ways to go, but we’re working on im. I’m working with Turner, and the Committee Chair also. We have two other bills, that haven’t even had committe hearings. Pharma is lobbying very, very, hard on the other side, so, we really have a long way to go. But, i think it’s likely we get it done. John and i are both doing our best.

    We talked today on the phone, and he wants me to put a post on my blog, with links on who to contact….Will work on it tomorrow.

    Thank you so much for posting this!


  12. I have such mixed feeling about this. I think that these meds are over prescribed, but at the same time having the government decide when and if a child needs medication is insane.

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