Ohio to study use of psychiatric drugs on children

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio officials want to study the use of psychiatric drugs prescribed to foster children and other kids on Medicaid.

The state’s Medicaid director and other health officials today said the state would invest $1 million over the next three years to improve and evaluate the use of mental health drugs prescribed to children.

Health officials said many children in Medicaid have complex behavioral needs, and about 22 percent of Ohio’s children in foster care are prescribed at least one psychotropic drug.

Officials said some children are being prescribed multiple medications outside of accepted dosages. That has raised concerns about side effects that could affect the children for years.

The state wants to develop guidelines for the drugs’ usage. The initiative is expected to fully get under way next year.

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