Drugging Kids

Even though the European Medicines Agency has endorsed the use of Prozac and similar drugs in children over eight, medical researchers doubt the appropriateness of prescribing such powerful drugs in all but rare cases. John Cornwell reports that in the United Kingdom government data reveals that the number of courses of Prozac-type drugs prescribed has jumped "from 3.7m in 2000 to 4.4m last year." Professor David Healey from the University of North Wales, cautions that the prescription of Prozac could mimic the dramatic growth in Ritalin use amongst children and adolescents. “Companies have been enabled to medicalise childhood distress, and as the rapidly changing culture surrounding the management of such problems indicates, companies have the power to change cultures and to do so in astonishingly short periods of time," he said. Prozac is made by Eli Lilly.