To the Editor: We find Hazell's editorial troubling.1 In it, Hazell concludes that “rather than inappropriate, it [the increased prescription of psychotropic medications for children and adolescents during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) pandemic] was an example of the system working as it should”. It is unclear how the author could reach this conclusion based on the two articles2,3 cited in the editorial.
- 1. Hazell PL. Increased prescribing of psychotropic medication for children and adolescents during the COVID‐19 pandemic: no cause for alarm. Med J Aust 2023; 219: 16‐17. https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2023/219/1/increased‐prescribing‐psychotropic‐medication‐children‐and‐adolescents‐during
- 2. Hardie RA, Sezgin G, Pont LG, et al. Psychotropic medication prescribing for children and adolescents by general practitioners during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Med J Aust 2023; 219: 26‐27. https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2023/219/1/psychotropic‐medication‐prescribing‐children‐and‐adolescents‐general
- 3. Wood SJ, Ilomäki J, Gould J, et al. Dispensing of psychotropic medications to Australian children and adolescents before and during the COVID‐19 pandemic, 2013–2021: a retrospective cohort study. Med J Aust 2023; 219: 18‐25. https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2023/219/1/dispensing‐psychotropic‐medications‐australian‐children‐and‐adolescents‐and
- 4. Hengartner MP, Plöderl M. Statistically significant antidepressant‐placebo differences on subjective symptom‐rating scales do not prove that the drugs work: effect size and method bias matter! Front Psychiatry 2018; 9: 517.
- 5. Braillon A, Lexchin J, Blumsohn A, Hengartner MP. The “pharmaceuticalisation” of life. BMJ 2019; 365: l1972.
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