CNN Reports Elderly Medication Abuse At Nursing Homes
October 12, 2017
CNN published an investigative report and data analysis which shows how the pill Nuedexta is being “increasingly prescribed in nursing homes even though drugmaker Avanir Pharmaceuticals acknowledges in prescribing information that the drug has not been extensively studied in elderly patients.” The report goes on to state that “voluntary reports with the FDA, Nuedexta has been listed by caregivers as a potential cause of side effects and harm ranging from falls to death.”
The CNN story contents that “Neudexta’s financial success, however, is being propelled by a sales force focused on expanding the drug’s use among elderly patients suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease….” The only approved use the pill is for PBA (pseudobulbar affect) which is a disorder which has an uncontrollable crying or laughing as a symptom. While a rare disorder, there has been a 400% increase in prescriptions alongside another finding that “nearly half the Nuedexta claims filed with Medicare in 2015 came from doctors who had received money or other perks from the company.”
If nothing else, the CNN story demonstrates the need for caregivers to closely monitor the medications given to elderly patients and to ask questions regarding the validity of any diagnosis.
Read more at CNN.
Serious Nursing Home Abuse Often Not Reported to Police, Federal Investigators Find
August 28, 2017
NRP report on an alert released by the Office of Inspector General in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that 25% of serious cases of nursing home abuse is not reported to the police.
In 2015 and 2015, investigators found “134 cases of abuse of nursing home residents severe enough to require emergency treatment. The vast majority of the cases involved sexual assault.”
Nursing home neglect and abuse is a serious problem. Any cuts to Medicaid or to the Departments of Health have dire consequences for nursing home residents. Conditions will only get worse unless we care.
Source: NPR.org, accessed 8/28/17, Ina Jaffee, Morning Edition
Congressional Progress in Protecting Against Financial Elder Abuse
The Elder Abuse and Prevention Act has a good chance of becoming law this year according to its’ key sponsor, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley. It is a good step for all states to follow in the steps of California’s comprehensive Elder Financial Abuse protections. Other bills to further protect seniors from Financial Fraud are also pending in the House and Senate.
Gartenberg Howard Rewrites New Jersey Nursing Home Law
Our nursing home attorneys had a major victory in 2017 when we not only won an action on behalf of a client but actually strengthened the law on behalf of all nursing home patients.