Consumer Reports Finds That Antipsychotic Drug Use To Sedate Patients is Still Rising

The following was adapted from : A new report by Consumer Reports Health finds that risky drugs are commonly being used to sedate patients. Sales of these "atypical" antipsychotics have been rising steadily from $8.4 billion in 2003 to $14.6 billion in 2009 -- outperforming sales for drugs to treat  more common conditions such as depression, heartburn, high cholesterol and hypertension.

"Our analysis indicates that the use of these drugs in confused or demented patients in nursing homes is usually not warranted," said John Santa, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. "The benefits are fairly limited and risks are significant, especially in this population. Once again, we have an all too painful illustration of the pharmaceutical drug industry's blockbuster drug model seeking out inappropriate and risky uses for their drugs."

The report, by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs (BBD), is part of a continuing investigation of drugs prescribed by doctors "off-label. For more, read the full story here.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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