90-day prescriptions may save insurers but hurt some patients, Cleveland Clinic psychiatrist says

February 7, 2020
By Maia Anderson
Becker’s Hospital Review

Prescribing 90-day supplies of medications has become standard practice across the country, but it poses serious risks to patients who struggle with mental health issues, Brian Barnett, MD, an inpatient psychiatrist at Cleveland Clinic, wrote in an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal. 

Dr. Barnett said he often sees patients who are chronically suicidal, and they frequently are given 90-day supplies of medications to treat their mental health conditions.

But intentional overdose is the most common method of attempting suicide in the U.S., and antidepressants are responsible for 45 percent of suicides involving prescription drugs, Dr. Barnett wrote.

His patients often tell him their insurers won’t cover smaller doses.

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