Five Knowledge Gaps in the Medication Treatment of Our Children and Advocacy to Fill the Gap

Julie Zito, Ph.D.

This talk will feature research perspectives in five areas that lack sufficient knowledge on the pediatric treatment of mental health conditions in youth. Antipsychotic and antidepressant medications will be featured. First, gaps in our understanding of the effectiveness of these medications in community populations; Second, gaps in our knowledge of the safety will be addressed; Third, the need for new data sources and methodology to assure FDA labeled indications for pediatric use; Fourth, the lack of interest/will to study ‘real world’ (community) populations; and Fifth, the weak funding and infrastructure to address family-oriented consent and monitoring of medications. At the conclusion, there will be a dialog with the audience to engage in suggestions for advocacy to fill the gaps.

Julie Magno Zito is Professor of Pharmacy and Psychiatry at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She is trained in pharmacoepidemiology and has more than 100 papers dealing with the use of psychotropic medications in community-treated populations. Her research focusing on children and adolescents has received widespread media attention. She has received more than 4 million dollars in foundation or federally funded support from NIH.

Prior to coming to the University of Maryland, Dr. Zito was employed by the New York State Office of Mental Health at the Nathan Kline Institute where she authored a 1994 textbook Psychotherapeutic Drug Monitoring. In 2008, Dr. Zito was recognized by the University of Maryland Regents with a statewide Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship.