Will Florida join other states suing makers of atypical antipscyhotics? It's seen similarly astronomical increases in use of the drugs by patients on Medicaid--from $9 million worth seven years ago to $30 million in 2006. Its treatment guidelines were modeled after a Texas project that was allegedly "improperly influenced" and paid for by drug companies.
And Florida's own program was funded in part by pharma. "It did not take me long to realize that the money from the drug companies was tainted," James Bax, former director of the Florida program, told the Daytona News-Journal. (Incidentally, Bax was succeeded in that job by a former Johnson & Johnson employee; J&J makes one of the leading antipsychotics, Risperdal.)
Some of the state's mental health officials are calling for an investigation, at least, and a lawsuit if warranted. The attorney general says it's "aware" of the concerns, but can't comment further.
- read the in-depth report from the News-Journal