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Disparate treatment

Curiously does not mention which medicines are so prevelant.

New federally financed drug research reveals a stark disparity: children covered by Medicaid are given powerful antipsychotic medicines at a rate four times higher than children whose parents have private insurance. And the Medicaid children are more likely to receive the drugs for less severe conditions than their middle-class counterparts, the data shows.

Children and Antipsychotic Drugs Those findings, by a team from Rutgers and Columbia, are almost certain to add fuel to a long-running debate. Do too many children from poor families receive powerful psychiatric drugs not because they actually need them -- but because it is deemed the most efficient and cost-effective way to control health problems that may be handled much differently for middle-class children?

Part of the reason is insurance reimbursements, as Medicaid often pays much less for counseling and therapy than private insurers do. Part of it may have to do with the challenges that families in poverty may have in consistently attending counseling or therapy sessions, even when such help is available.

Health Affairs


Poor Children Likelier to Get Antipsychotics
Published: December 12, 2009
Some children from poor families may be receiving powerful drugs because it is deemed a cheaper way to treat a problem

Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times
Dr. Derek H. Suite, a psychiatrist in the Bronx, says he sees many children on antipsychotic drugs who do not need them.


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