Paragraph 3 reads: "Scrips for male and female youngsters between 10 and 19 years old were rising between 2001 and 2003, although the rate of growth was actually slowing. Then, 2004 was relatively flat. There was a dramatic drop in 2005, but prescriptions appeared to have leveled off again in 2006. Look at the chart and see for yourself."
SSRI Stories believes it is a 'crime against humanity' that Dr. Gibbons couldn't get his 'years' straight. Here is his quote from the Boston Globe on Sept. 17th, 2007: "Robert D. Gibbons, a University of Illinois at Chicago psychiatric researcher who wrote the paper blaming FDA policy for the suicide jump, admits that the rise in suicides and drop in antidepressant prescriptions happened in different years, but said it doesn't undermine his conclusions ."
September 18th, 2007 8:47 am By Ed Silverman
Two weeks ago, the controversy over antidepressants and Black Box warnings for suicides re-emerged after yet another study in the American Journal of Psychiatry suggested that prescriptions fells due to the publicity given the issue three years ago. Then, CDC data was released showing a rise in suicide among youngsters in 2004 - before the warnings actually showed up on labeling.
The American Psychiatric Association complains the warnings are scaring away docs and patients, some of whom may benefit from the meds. So what affect did those Black Box warnings have on antidepressant usage? We asked Medco, the big pharmacy benefits manager, to share annual scrip data and the trend is interesting…
Scrips for male and female youngsters between 10 and 19 years old were rising between 2001 and 2003, although the rate of growth was actually slowing. Then, 2004 was relatively flat. There was a dramatic drop in 2005, but prescriptions appeared to have leveled off again in 2006. Look at the chart and see for yourself.
As an example, 4.6 percent of female youngsters filled a scrip in 2003, and that fell 10.3 percent by 2006. Among boys, 3.8 percent filled a scrip in 2003, and that dropped to 3.2 percent in 2006. But again, the rate for both groups was virtually unchanged from 2005 to 2006. Data for the first half of 2007 isn’t yet available.
So what are the implications? A drop is a drop. But the hand-wringing by the APA may be overwrought. For the moment, the downturn in scrips has stopped. And there’s nothing to suggest scrips aren’t being written. Instead, what the data may indicate is that, perhaps, the publicity has served to remind some docs that antidepressant scrips shouldn’t be written wily-nily.