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Senator Lesko pushes for bill requiring certain state agencies to report prescription rates of psych

Two state legislators are pushing for improved transparency about how often Arizona’s foster-care children are prescribed powerful, mind-altering medications.

A pair of bills recently introduced in the Legislature would require three state agencies to collaborate on a report, to be issued every two years, comparing foster and non-foster kids’ prescription rates for psychotropic medications. The agencies are the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment system, the state’s Medicaid program; the Department of Health Services; and the Department of Child Safety, which oversees child welfare.

Both bills also require release of additional data, such as how often foster and non-foster children are simultaneously prescribed multiple psychotropic drugs, and a list of doctors who have the highest prescribing rates for that class of medications, which includes antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety drugs, mood stabilizers and ADHD drugs.

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