Passive Minister for Health and Prevention
When the Terrida Family realized how free from responsibility General Practitioners are when prescribing “happy pills”, with documented dangerous side effects for young people under 25 years, they tried several times to draw the attention of the Minister for Health’s attention to the problem. To do that, they had a member of the Danish Parliament from the party Venstre, Jane Heitmann, asking two so-called paragraph 20 questions to the, at that time Minister for Health Pia Olsen Dyhr. Subsequently the family themselves also sent some questions to the minister.
The answers from the Minister did not leave the Terrida Family satisfied. They experienced the answer as being typical for a politician, where the Minister does not relate to what the concrete questions were, and the fact that General Practitioners still can prescribe antidepressants even though the risk is very well known. Marianne and Denis do not feel that the changing Ministers for Health and Prevention the last couple of years have lived up to their responsibilities, when they haven’t intervened towards the Board of Health and demanded changes in their vague manuals. The Terrida Family feel abandoned along with other families, who will forever be affected by the attempted suicide, or suicide by their children, due to a careless handling of antidepressants by the Board of Health.
Marianne and Denis have chosen to make the questions and answers available here on the website. They can be read beneath:
Question S 2768 from March 29, 2012:
“Does the Minister find it appropriate that General Practitioners can make prescriptions to depressed patients over the phone – without a prior consultation and diagnose – and if not, what initiatives will the Minister make to prevent this?”
Answer from the Minister:
Of course I do not find it appropriate if there are cases where General Practitioners prescribe antidepressant medicine over the phone, without a prior consultation and diagnose.
I want to emphasize that this is already clear from the Board of Health’s manual on the area, that under normal circumstances, it takes more than a telephonic conversation before antidepressants are prescribed.
I can inform that the Board of Health will revise the manual on the area, so that this will become more apparent.
Finally, I would like to note that the doctors, according to the law, have a duty to show care and conscientiousness – also in the drug treatment.
Question S 2766 from March 29, 2012
“As a well-known side effect of “happy pills”, especially for young people, is an increased risk of suicide or attempted suicide, can the Minister inform which initiative will be taken to protect young people in the group at risk?”
Answer from the Minister:
We do not know the reasons for this development, which has been seen the past 10 years, where the consumption of antidepressants for children and young people have exploded. However, it is a development that gives reason to worry, also for me.
Therefore I am satisfied that the Board of Health has emphasized towards the General Practitioners that it is a job for specialists in the children and youth psychiatry to treat children and adolescents with antidepressant medicine, as it is also stated in the manual from the Health Authorities about medical treatment of children and adolescents with psychological illness.
The children and adolescents in treatment with antidepressants needs to be secured by a thorough surveillance of suicidal symptoms and furthermore being offered a multidisciplinary and coherent action in terms of, among other things, psychotherapeutic actions and pedagogical and social supportive efforts.
The government has prioritized to strengthen the children and youth-psychiatry. Last Fall, we signed a large social reserve agreement, where 100 million kroner over the next 4 years will be spent to secure faster treatment of children and young people with mental illness.
In addition, the recently established Psychiatry Committee has been given the job to give proposals for how the treatment of humans with mental illness, which also includes children and young people, can be organized and completed in the best possible way. The Psychiatry Committee will also be given the job to further analyze the development in the consumption of antidepressants, also among children and young people.
In my opinion, the manual from the Board of Health about Medical Treatment of children and young people with psychological illness, the emphasis to the General Practitioners, the social reserve agreement for strengthening the psychiatry for children and young people, and the future work in the Psychiatry Committee now and in the future, should secure the best treatment for children and young people with mental illness, including children and young people with depression.
Written question to the Minister from the Terrida Family, May 1, 2012
Regarding case no. 1204326, question number S2766
The rules you have drafted in your answers are already policy, but only for children and adolescents under 18. The answer does not include the group between 18 and 25 years. This group is even more exposed to external stress, and will still be adults and manage themselves. The patient information leaflet specifically warns young people under the age of 25. What actions will be taken for this group?
Answer from the Ministry for Health and Prevention, September 11, 2012
The Ministry can inform, that any doctor is obliged to show care and conscientiousness when in his job – this is also in relation to the prescription of medicine. This is apparent in the law of authorization §17. The Board of Health have in the manual about the treatment with antidepressants from 2000, specified the care and conscientiousness a doctor should show in the treatment with these medicaments. The Board of Health has, to the Ministry informed the Board that they are planning to revise the manual soon.