Thursday, October 1, 2009

CORRECTED - US family doctors prescribe most mental health drugs

(Corrects final paragraph to show the FDA did not approve Seoquel's use in children, but an FDA advisory panel)

* Most mental health drugs prescribed by family doctors

* Doctors' role raises concerns about quality of care

Fifty-nine percent of U.S. mental health drug prescriptions are written by family doctors, not psychiatrists, raising concerns about the quality of some treatments, according to a study released on Wednesday.

Researchers from Thomson Reuters (TRI.TO) and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration examined 472 million prescriptions written for psychotropic drugs from August 2006 and July 2007.

They found that general practitioners prescribed the bulk of prescriptions in two main categories -- 62 percent of antidepressants and 52 percent of stimulants.

The stimulants were mainly drugs for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. About 25 percent of all stimulant prescriptions examined were written by pediatricians, they reported in the journal Psychiatric Services.


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