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How To Deal With Drug Problems in State’s Foster Care Program

Recent reports shed light on troubling practices in California’s foster care system.

An investigation and series of articles published this fall by the San Jose Mercury News and Bay Area News Group showed that pharmaceutical companies are spending millions of dollars to influence physicians who prescribe psychiatric medications to California children in foster care. The investigation found that children in the state foster care system are prescribed psychiatric drugs at a rate three times higher than children nationwide.

Legislators and state health leaders acknowledged the situation and said it is part of larger systemic problems facing the state’s foster care program.

Mercury News editorial this fall called for swift action.

We asked physicians, lawmakers, state health officials and consumer advocates how California should deal with the situation.

We got responses from:

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