Confronting Doctors

Part 3: Sharyn Alfonsi confronts physicians about risky prescriptions.
9:46 | 12/02/11

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Transcript for Confronting Doctors
Powerful site control picks some not approved for use in young children and others warned they could raise the risk of suicidal tendencies. And yet every day miracle -- -- in the tens of thousands of -- your kids across America. Even in. Thank you didn't do 30 plus three. -- -- -- Young some of doctors who prescribe these drugs of Foster -- children and it's harmless. Doctors say he -- money is one of the true believers in these medications for kids he was the doctor assigned to treat seven year old Gabriel mired. Gave his father was in jail his mother addicted to prescription drugs. One day she passed out in a Denny's parking lot with the engine running. Six year old Gabriel in the car and Florida police found them hours later they took her to -- -- and Gabriel was placed in Foster care. During the next months and Gabriel was moved from home to home from therapist to therapist he started acting out trashing his room. Doctor -- -- money became Gabriel psychiatrists. Need for by the state of Florida. Seven times Gabriel was driven to doctor from Tony's office. And often leaving with the changing mix of prescriptions for powerful psychotropic drugs. One prescription even set off alarms at Walgreens pharmacy which send this message to doctor -- white wanting to know whether Gabriel would be safe taking the drug. Gabriel's behavior got worse then one afternoon -- did the unimaginable. This seven year old locked himself in the bathroom of his Foster -- screaming I deserve to die. Stood on the edge of the tub and hung himself with a shower -- What would drive the seven year old to hang himself. Police detective F from swore as his investigation looked at his dramatic passed his treatment and then turn -- the drugs prescribed to him over time. By doctor when joining. Improvements approved the incident. There were a lot of questions -- some other medications were adjusted and changed of people. Gabriel's death was ruled an accident. Police the medical examiner and FBI. All -- possibility the medications he was taking may have contributed to his deadly yeah. I don't watch everything you -- and -- taught us about Gabriel mountains so we tracked down doctor and -- outside his off. That's -- drugs he prescribed to him off label and they Wear black box warnings that say that they -- Cause suicidal tendencies six duties have been. But that does not mean that everything he's done so doctors are responsible -- because he had in the business of taking care of these children. That's unhappiness that. But how each time -- and actually spend with Gabriel and Foster products they can spend outside -- That is -- This time something that I don't have the record. Right now later doctor friends want he admitted it is possible the only spend five minutes with Gabriel while adjusting his meant. Five minutes. Florida and since kicked him out of the Medicaid program. Turns out -- -- one he's been arrested for cocaine possession to avoid prosecution he agreed to go through court mandated rehab program. But it cross country doctors continue to treat Foster care children with powerful -- -- of -- -- -- the drugs. Often the drugs are helpful in treatment but -- health care being taken with Foster children. As we said Foster kids are up to thirteen times more likely to be treated with psychotropic drugs than other children. And government report that came out this week. Found that hundreds of these children are on five or more of these powerful drugs. The same time. Anyone looking -- seven. And if you tried to speak out and say anything about you're basically told to to shop. This social worker has worked with hundreds of Foster children she asked we protect her identity why do you think -- medicating these. It's much easier to. Medicaid a child thing is to pay 200 dollars an hour to a therapist to talk through their problems with them. Whistle blowers described an unholy convergence between doctors who prescribe the drugs. Medicaid which is willing to pay for them and drug companies that made billions from them you know how did. Anti psychotic drugs. Supposedly -- for people who have lost touch with reality. How the big develop such a wide market you're psychiatrist doctor -- increase just he says drug companies have specifically targeted doctors. -- treat children. A senior representative from Pfizer took me for launch. And they. Started to say let me tell you about do you -- and and listen to them talk to me about children. I was already well aware that hadn't been approved for any children. Crucial scheme was a key whistle blower lawsuits against the drug companies in all four -- makers have paid a total of more than two billion dollars. -- settle claims the illegally marketed anti psychotic to children. All deny any wrongdoing. -- -- flat screen TV. Judith first came to Robin -- -- share from Foster care it was five years old and already diagnosed with bipolar disorder. There was no whitener face blank face blank stairs you know not a typical child. She was on a combination of powerful it's like the -- went into medicine make you feel like. -- -- -- -- An almost comatose at night took it -- when Judith got sick and vomit in all over the bed. She didn't even wake up. After that I said call the doctor then because. Condemning this season it. I'm Sharon -- -- it was doctor Guyardo Concepcion who first prescribed an anti psychotic to Judith. -- they work until it works. They become more call. They become more compliant. And you've been through. 30 a three year old man is -- mother of the young child at home I think. You know all three year old sex crazy. Netherlands. -- year old starts hitting themselves. On the head. -- then its subtleties looking for a knife to us somebody could be the younger sibling or or the parent and. -- records reveal doctor Concepcion his office is one of the leading purse robbers of anti psychotic to Medicaid kids under the age of five. The entire state of Louisiana. Judith eventually came under the care of doctor Charles -- of Tulane University. -- of Medicaid it the prescribed her for treatment he 2700. Prescriptions for anti -- products in the last year 2700. He's an extraordinary number. Extraordinary. But he's just just to in this adults -- a big practice. And I -- people that -- and -- me. Who also writing prescriptions or is it possible later -- too many prescriptions for the instructs it to many kids I don't think so. So how is -- Doctors CNET took a different approach with Judith weaning her off most of -- today she's a happy healthy little girl. -- Her champions -- and Andrei have adopted her giving her every Foster care child desperately needs a lot of -- And -- and yeah. But a reality check this is a loving family for one little girl but only about one out of ten kids in Foster care get adopted. So many other children are still being overprescribed. And as you know we tried to take our questions also to the US government only to find agencies referring us each to each other the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services declined our request for an interview. But they did sent a letter asking states to come up with their own plans by June 2012. And we sat down with Robert Nelson of the Food and Drug Administration which regulates drugs in this country. Asked Kim who's going to lead the charge. Is a time to issue a wake up call. About the use of these drugs in children I'd be curious to hear what you think the wake up call would be and what what that might look -- the FDA. I know this is an issue that that has been discussed and obviously we're well aware of it you're sitting at home at night alone. Which agency do you plan. To fifty. Well. I think we all have to take responsibility. But we all need to work together -- problem. And that's exactly what senator Tom Carper is doing just yesterday holding a congressional hearing asking tough questions. About the medicines given to Foster children. No children in this country should be taking the same time five different tough kinds of psychotropic drugs. And he called witnesses. Of whom you've met before. Remember little beyond ten. He -- -- name -- -- Shaking while speaking you're linked. World. -- one piece of advice you have for for all of us that demands aren't gonna help. Child. With their problems what I learned in therapy is that. You talk about the deepest -- it hurts but you can handle it better.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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