A study published in the May/June Health Affairs finds that more
health care providers are prescribing psychotropic medications to their
patients, particularly to seniors.
In an analysis of U.S. mental health care trends from 1996 through 2006,
Sherry Glied, Ph.D, and Richard Frank, Ph.D., found that the number of seniors
receiving psychotropic drug prescriptions doubled during that time period."
Greater availability of medications to treat conditions like
Alzheimer's and increased access to prescription drugs through the Medicare
Modernization Act may have also played a role in doctors' prescribing drugs to
seniors," said Glied, a professor and chair of health policy and
management at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Frank is
a professor of health economics at Harvard Medical School (see
Unbalanced MH System Needs Major
Shift in Focus).
"Trends in Mental Health Cost Growth: An Expanded Role for
Management?" is posted at<http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/abstract/28/3/637>.▪