Summary:

Paragraphs 2 & 3 read:  "The December death of Rebecca Riley, 4, of a prescription drug overdose has some legislators looking at the growing practice of prescribing behavior-altering medications to children."

" 'Many experts have suggested that you can't diagnose a 2- or 3-year-old with schizophrenic or bi-polar disorder. And then the over-medication and the number of medications that this girl was taking are certainly a concern to us,' Rep. Peter Koutoujian, of Waltham, said."

Paragraph one reads:  "
The overdose death of a 4-year-old Hull girl is now getting attention from Beacon Hill as the doctor who prescribed those drugs turned in her license."


http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/10960453/detail.html


Beacon Hill Responds To Death Of Girl, 4

Lawmakers Consider Practice Of Prescribing Drugs To Children

POSTED: 6:11 am EST February 8, 2007
UPDATED: 7:12 am EST February 8, 2007


BOSTON -- The overdose death of a 4-year-old Hull girl is now getting attention from Beacon Hill as the doctor who prescribed those drugs turned in her license.

NewsCenter 5's Steve Lacy reported that legislators on a committee that deals with child abuse and neglect have been meeting for the past month and now many lawmakers are asking what should be done to better protect children.

The December death of Rebecca Riley, 4, of a prescription drug overdose has some legislators looking at the growing practice of prescribing behavior-altering medications to children.

"Many experts have suggested that you can't diagnose a 2- or 3-year-old with schizophrenic or bi-polar disorder. And then the over-medication and the number of medications that this girl was taking are certainly a concern to us," Rep. Peter Koutoujian, of Waltham, said.

The push for greater legislative oversight of prescription medications comes as a Boston Globe report revealed that the state Department of Social Services looked into concerns about Rebecca Riley's daily prescription drug regimen, but failed to order a review of the girl's case until after her death.

The original inquiry was shelved after DSS received assurances from the girl's mother and doctors that her use of the drugs was appropriate. An autopsy after the child's Dec. 13 death showed that Rebecca Riley died from a lethal combination of several drugs, including medications she was taking for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Dr. Kayoko Kifuji, the New England Medical Center doctor who diagnosed Riley, surrendered her medical license Wednesday.

"This is a voluntary agreement, a negotiated agreement, between Dr. Kifuji and the Board of Medicine. It requires an immediate cessation of practice," the board's Nancy Achin Audesse said.

No dates have been set on Beacon Hill for hearings about the practice of prescribing powerful medications to young children. According to a study by George Washington University, anti-depressant use among school-age children doubled between 1998 and 2002.