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Last Updated: Oct 11, 2012 - 10:22:56 PM
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FDA asked to Monitor Youth SSRI Prescription Drop

Sep 9, 2005 - 3:57:00 PM
Following the release of new data that shows a significant decline in antidepressant prescription for youth under 18, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) have asked the Food and Drug Administration to monitor the effects of the prescription decrease since the agency’s October, 2004 black box warning on antidepressants.

 
[RxPG] A new analysis on prescription patterns, based on a two-year dataset by NDC Health Inc., shows a statistically significant drop in the prescription of antidepressents of nearly 20 percent for youth aged 18 and under. This dramatic shift raises the question of whether those children and adolescents with depression who are no longer taking medication are receiving any care at all—or are receiving the most effective care. Several studies, including the Treatment of Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS), led by AACAP Member John March, M.D. and funded by the NIMH, have shown a combination treatment approach (medication with talk therapy) as being the most effective, a course of treatment that appears endangered by such a sharp decrease in the medication portion of treatment.

On June 21, 2005, the American Medical Association (AMA) joined the AACAP and the APA in urging the FDA to evaluate the impact of its regulatory action on treatment patterns, patient compliance, and patient access to quality mental health care. The FDA has acknowledged that it “has not systematically tracked antidepressant prescribing in the pediatric population.”

The AACAP and APA expressed their interest to F.D.A. Commissioner Lester Crawford, D.V.M., Ph.D. in developing a sound methodology for measuring the effects of the warning. Both organizations appealed to the FDA, in order to remind the agency about the documented, pervasive undertreatment of child and adolescent depression, and that the most dangerous course of treatment is no treatment at all.



Publication: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA)
On the web: www.aacap.org 

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 Additional information about the news article
To view more on AACAP’s work on behalf of educating policy makers on the pervasiveness and danger of untreated pediatric and adolescent depression, and how regulation has become a barrier to care, please view http://www.aacap.org.

The data illustrating the decrease in prescription of antidepressants is accessible on the American Psychiatric Association’s website.

Representing over 7,400 child and adolescent psychiatrists nationwide, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is the leading authority on children’s mental health. AACAP members actively research, diagnose, and treat psychiatric disorders affecting children, adolescents, and their families.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is the leading authority on children’s mental health. AACAP members actively research, diagnose, and treat psychiatric disorders affecting children, adolescents, and their families.

Our Facts for Families, available free of charge on the AACAP website, provide concise and up-to-date information on a wide array of issues relating to children’s mental health. Written in a simple, straightforward manner, these 88 one-page fact sheets are valuable to anyone raising or working with children. In addition, the AACAP routinely refers the media to expert spokespeople on child and adolescent issues, and sponsors The Campaign for America’s Kids – an initiative designed to fund an Advocacy Institute for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, with the goal of mental health for all children.
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