Alaska psychiatrists accused of wrongly medicating children

An Alaska mental health advocacy group that has spent years battling the pharmaceutical industry over medication is suing more than a dozen Alaska child psychiatrists, saying the doctors unnecessarily drugged children and committed Medicaid fraud.

The lawsuit, filed months ago in U.S. District Court in Alaska but only unsealed last month, is by the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights, led by Anchorage attorney Jim Gottstein. The organization filed as a whistleblower on behalf of the United States against the Alaska doctors and other defendants, including health service agencies, pharmacies, and state officials.

The case accused the defendants of following the drug companies' marketing to the point of deliberate ignorance or reckless disregard for the health of their patients when it comes to prescribing medications to kids. The suit says the drugs are especially overprescribed to youths from low-income families and that state officials are complacent in the alleged abuse.

But at least some of the people and organizations being sued say that Gottstein's advocacy group doesn't understand the science.

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