Perhaps even more damning, the report found, 92 percent of all kids on Medicaid receiving antipsychotics don’t have any of the limited “medically accepted pediatric conditions” supposedly justifying their use. These “accepted conditions” include the authority to use antipsychotics even for autistic children as young as 5 for such dubious FDA-approved conditions as “irritability.”
So just how far outside the bounds of sensible prescribing must a doctor be that government approval to provide antipsychotics to a 5-year-old child is somehow considered too limiting? Yet that’s precisely the sort of free-fire-zone prescribing underway now for 92 percent of those kids receiving antipsychotics in foster care and the broader Medicaid program.
The Inspector General’s report also noted that over half of kids receiving antipsychotics are victimized by “poor monitoring” of the drugs’ risky health side effects — which can include breast growth in boys, cardiac arrest, extreme weight gain and diabetes.
But the report and most of the few mainstream media accounts ignored altogether an even more fundamental example of failed oversight: the federal government’s lax monitoring of state Medicaid programs dispensing these potentially life-threatening medications to children