Federal Government Suggests Sanctions on Antipsychotic Drug Use in Dementia Patients

Government officials announced this week that Medicare officials need to do more to stop doctors from prescribing powerful psychiatric drugs to nursing home dementia sufferers. Antipsychotic drugs were designed for people suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, they are also given to hundreds of thousands of elderly nursing home patients to control aggressive behavior related to dementia.

The drugs however, have been linked to an increased risk of death in seniors, prompting the Food and Drug Administration to issue multiple warnings against prescribing the drugs for dementia. Antipsychotics often result in weight gain and can increase nursing home resident's risk of falling.

The federal government has asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to begin penalizing facilities that inappropriately use antipsychotic drugs. The penalty would make the facility pay the cost of any inappropriately prescribed drugs and possibly loose their federal funding. For more, read the story.



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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