January 24, 2003

In this Issue:

1. Psychotropic Practice Patterns for Youth: A 10-Year Perspective

Source: What's New @ national-academies.org - January 17, 2003

The number of children and adolescents taking psychiatric drugs more than doubled from 1987 to 1996, says a study in this month's "Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine."  While the study did not examine the cause of this increase, a 2001 National Academies report criticizes the national trend toward quick fixes in children's mental-health care, including the extensive use of drugs.  It recommends changing current practices to better distinguish between children with serious emotional disorders and those who are immature or experiencing short-term developmental delays.

2. HHS Identifies Drugs For Pediatric Testing And Announces $93 Million In Fy 2003 And Fy 2004 Funding

Source: HHS RELEASE - January 21, 2002

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today named 12 commonly-prescribed drugs that need to be tested for use in children.  He said government-supported tests of the drugs will begin this year, with up to $25 million available to launch the tests in fiscal year 2003 and up to $50 million to be included in the President's FY 2004 budget proposal next month for the testing.  An
additional $18 million will also be provided for review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The testing is called for in the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA), which was signed into law by President Bush last year. The law provides for HHS' National Institutes of Health (NIH) to sponsor pediatric tests of certain drugs already approved for marketing but either never tested or not fully tested specifically for their effects in children. The list released today identifies the dozen highest-priority drugs needing pediatric testing. For more information go to: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2003pres/20030121.html

3. Study Finds Association Between WIC Participation and Increased Use of Preventive Care

Source: MCH Alert - January 24, 2003

"The bottom line is that children enrolled in Medicaid who participate in WIC [Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children] are linked to the health care system and are much more likely to receive both preventive and curative care, whereas Medicaid-enrolled children who do not participate in WIC simply are not as connected to the
health care system," state the authors of an article published in the January 2003 issue of the American Journal of Public Health. The authors of this article examined the relationship between child participation in WIC and the use of preventive health care services, Medicaid costs for children, and the diagnosis and treatment of common childhood illnesses.

For more information go to: http://www.mchlibrary.info/alert/alert012403.html#3