I respect what one fed-up citizen named Ben Hansen (aka M. I Bonkers) is doing to bring some humor to his exposÃ©s of various psychiatric abuses in the state of Michigan. Documents he obtained under the Freedom of Information Action (FOIA) show alarming increases in psychiatric drug use and drug-induced movement disorders in children under 5 years old in Michigan. Quoting his article here:
During a 10-month period from January 2006 to October 2006, Michigan Medicaid statistics show:
* 100%increase in children under age 18 on 3 or more mood stabilizers.
* 100% increase in children age 6-17 on 4 or more psychiatric drugs.
* 79% increase in adults on 5 or more psychiatric drugs.
* 67% increase in adults on 3 or more psychiatric drugs.
* 49% increase in adults on 2 or more insomnia agents.
* 45% increase in children under age 18 on a benzodiazepine for at least 60 days.
* 45% increase in children under age 18 on 2 or more antipsychotics.
According to Medicaid records, the top 5 psychiatric drug classes prescribed to children under age 5 were:
* 1. Anxiolytics/Sedative Hypnotics (1,265 patients under age 5).
* 2. Antidyskinetics (972 patients under age 5).
* 3. Anticonvulsants/Mood Stabilizers (933 patients under age 5).
* 4. Sympathomimetics/Stimulants (408 patients under age 5).
* 5. Atypical Antipsychotics (322 patients under age 5).
The most recent data on children under age 5, from February to December 2005, shows a 100% increase in children under 5 prescribed antidyskinetics (also called antiparkinsonians) for movement disorders such as dystonia, dyskinesia, tics, and tremors. This is perhaps the most disturbing statistic I’ve uncovered so far. If the same trend continued through 2006, it would mean the prescribing of antidyskinetics to children under 5 years old has quadrupled in the last two years!
If the increased prescribing of antidyskinetics is the direct result of an increase in the diagnosis and treatment of “mental disorders” in American toddlers, then we could be witnessing a public health disaster of monumental proportions.
Mr. Hansen sent the documents in question to a NY Times reporter, who broke the story. I wouldn’t count on the NY Times (or Time/Warner or anything related to Time Inc) to continue exposing what’s going on with Eli Lily and Big Pharma in general. Too much ad revenue is coming to them to want to bite the hand that feeds them.