Alaskan child psychiatrists sued for unnecessary drugs

Legal news for Alaska medical malpractice attorneys. The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights filed a whistleblower case against Alaskan doctors.

Medical malpractice attorneys alert- A whistleblower lawsuit charged child psychiatrists in Alaska for writing unnecessary drug prescriptions.

Anchorage, AK—An Alaska mental health advocacy group, the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights, filed a lawsuit against more than a dozen Alaskan child psychiatrists, which claims the psychiatrists unnecessarily drugged its child patients and committed Medicaid-fraud. The suit was unsealed last month, but was filed months ago in the U.S. District Court in Alaska, as reported by Anchorage Daily News.

The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights filed the whistleblower lawsuit against the Alaskan doctors, along with other defendants like health service agencies, pharmacies and state officials, on behalf of the United States. The suit was filed under the federal False Claims Act, which Civil-War era law that was enacted to recruit citizens in the fight against war profiteers.

According to the lawsuit, it accuses the defendants of excessive marketing practices, which has reached a point of “deliberate ignorance or reckless disregard for the health of their patients when it comes to prescribing medications to kids.” The pending litigation claims that the drugs are “especially overprescribed to youths from low-income families and that state officials are complacent in the alleged abuse.” The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights overall goal is to cease the over-dispensing of psychotropics and medicines, which affect the brain of children. The advocacy group reports that nine out of 10 kids that visit a child psychiatrist are prescribed medication, with less than 10 percent of the medications are FDA-approved for psychiatric use in the candidates. The lawsuit further alleges “doctors prescribe the common psychiatric drugs for untested purposes, thereby committing Medicaid fraud because Medicaid is only to reimburse costs for the designated purposes of the drugs. At least half of psychotropic drug prescriptions to children and adolescents submitted to Medicaid are not for medically accepted indications and therefore fraudulent… But doctors can prescribe drugs as they see fit, and many have turned to ‘off-label’ drugs to treat serious mental conditions in children, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.” The whistleblower lawsuit is seeking $5,500 for every false prescription written.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Alaska medical malpractice lawyers.