, Volume 231, Issue 18, pp 3809–3811 | Cite as

Determination of psychotropic use in children and adolescents from a prescription database: methodological issues

  • Christian J. BachmannEmail author
  • Falk Hoffmann
Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor

We read with great interest the recent article by Hsia et al. (2014), who presented estimated rates of psychopharmacological treatment in individuals with ASD in five European and five non-European countries, based on data from the IMS Prescribing Insights (MIDAS) database, an international commercial prescription database.

We appreciate the efforts of Hsia et al. (2014) to assemble data on psychotropic use in persons with ASD, especially as they have included some countries for which pharmaco-epidemiological data have to date been rarely reported. As literature on psychopharmacological treatment in ASD patients is scarce (overview: Bachmann et al. 2013), this endeavour is to be congratulated.

Nevertheless, we would like to discuss some methodological issues. Generally, the outcomes of pharmaco-epidemiological surveys significantly depend on the methods employed (e.g. Rubin 2013). In our opinion, in the case of the article by Hsia et al. (2014), the methodology used by the...


Autism Spectrum Disorder Autism Spectrum Disorder Risperidone Methylphenidate Rett Syndrome 
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Conflict of interest

Dr Bachmann has received lecture fees from Actelion, Novartis, and Ferring as well as payment from BARMER GEK for writing a chapter in a book. He has served as a study physician in clinical trials for Shire and Novartis. Dr Hoffmann is active on behalf of a number of statutory health-insurance companies (BARMER GEK, DAK, TK and various corporate health-insurance funds) in the setting of contracts for third-party payment.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Faculty of MedicinePhilipps-University MarburgMarburgGermany
  2. 2.Division of Health Economics, Health Policy and Health Services Research, Centre for Social Policy ResearchUniversity of BremenBremenGermany

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