Rameela Raman, Ph.D., Department of Biostatistics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

"Prescription monitoring in the child welfare system and its challenges"

There is widespread concern that psychotropic drugs are prescribed to children in the United States at an alarming rate. Given the traumatic experiences that most children in state custody have experienced, it is not surprising that many exhibit behavioral issues rooted in abuse or neglect. Although it is every states’ policy that psychotropic medications be prescribed and administered only when medically necessary, children in state custody are particularly vulnerable to over-prescription at stunningly high rates, far higher than children in the general population. In this talk, I will provide an overview of my collaboration with the TN Department of Children’s Services and use it as a motivating example for prescription monitoring. I will provide an overview of how statistical techniques in this area have evolved through the years, recent methodological advances and ongoing work. The challenges and areas for future research and development will be highlighted.

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