Thanks to PhRMA, California children in the nation’s largest foster care system have long had their sadness, frustration and fears blunted with the strongest types of psychotropic drugs — medications with limited approvals for pediatric use that often cause debilitating side effects.
Now, after years of inaction (meaning after years of pharmaceutical industry payoffs), Sacramento lawmakers have gone far beyond any other state legislature to protect abused and neglected kids from receiving questionable psychiatric care that fails to treat the underlying causes for their trauma.
Bad news for PhRMA stock, but good news for human decency.
Under three laws that took effect this year — and three more bills now on the governor’s desk — the Legislature has prompted aggressive efforts to reel back overprescribing known to cause obesity, diabetes, heavy sedation and irreversible tremors.
The unprecedented package of bills requires state agencies, caregivers, social workers, public health nurses and judges to better protect the state’s most vulnerable children.
A damning state audit released this week increased pressure on lawmakers to act. In a 131-page report, State Auditor Elaine Howle reported that the state and counties “have failed to adequately oversee the prescribing of psychotropics to children in foster care,” saddling them with too many meds, inappropriately high dosages, and little follow-up care or documentation.
They’d rather foster kids be drugged into oblivion. Nice, real nice.
The Food and Drug Administration approves antipsychotics only for the rare instances of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism with irritability in children. But these drugs, along with a class of medications known as mood stabilizers, are often prescribed “off-label” to manage difficult behaviors — such as angry outbursts and suicidal thoughts — in foster children who have suffered trauma and abandonment.
Rat lobbyists for physicians and the group home industry, along with county behavioral health directors, have fought many of the provisions in the proposed laws. They’re getting paid to drug our children into the grave. They are the most despicable examples of inhumanity.
Source: The San Francisco Chronicle