According to a report recently released by the Department of Health and Human Services, 14% of the 2.1 million elderly nursing home patients, during the first 6 months of 2007, were being prescribed at least one atypical anti-psychotic drug. It was found that over half of that 14% were prescribed the drugs for dementia alone. The anti-psychotics, including Seroquel, Zyprexa, and Risperadal, have NOT been approved for use in the treatment of dementia. In fact, the FDA has indicated that not only do these drugs offer no benefits to dementia patients, they actually can cause life threatening side effects. This undoubtedly a form of nursing home abuse.
Nursing Home Abuse via Chemical Restraint Is an Easy Form of Control
It seems that the drugs are being used as chemical restraints; a way to sedate patients so that they require less attention. As an added “bonus,” the home can end up making a large profit from this practice. Due to medicaid reimbursements, the home is making money on every patient they wrongfully sedate with anti-psychotic drugs.
Nursing homes get paid a lot of money to care for your loved ones. Most of the time, they drain your loved one of all of their resources, perhaps even some of yours, and then continue to collect insurance payments. These costs should afford our elderly and sick population good, dedicated, and attentive care. The misuse of anti-psychotic drugs to restrain patients is depraved. Safeguards need to be put into place to make sure that such prescription drug abuse is not occurring.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Are Here to Help
If your loved one is being given atypical anti-psychotic drugs to “help with dementia“, you are witnessing nursing home abuse or neglect. You should discuss this issue with the staff at the nursing home and, if you aren’t completely satisfied with the responses you are receiving, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, and (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.
Our lawyers are dedicated to eradicating the disturbing trends of nursing home abuse in long term care facilities throughout the nation.
Pharmaceutical giant Baxter announced today that it does not expect any “material” litigation with regards to the contaminated heparin recalls. Although the FDA has received a ton of complaints about death and serious reactions to the drug, Baxter claims that they only know of four possible injuries to date. They also believe it will be difficult to prove a link between the drug and some of the side effects reported by the general public.
I think the report on CNN.com gives a little more insight as to why Baxter is not overly concerned with this issue. CNN reports that:
Despite the high-profile nature of the heparin troubles, the drug is not a major or high profit-margin product for Baxter, which expects a muted financial impact from the recall. On Thursday, when the company reported first-quarter results, it noted $11 million in after-tax charges associated with the heparin recall in the U.S.
All this uproar is just a drop in the bucket to Baxter. No wonder why they are so indifferent to the fact that a drug, which people rely on to prevent clotting, is contaminated with a foreign substance that makes people sick. With this mentality, why in the world would drug companies want to change up the regulation standards when they only experience a “muted financial impact” from a national recall? It”s so much easier to just sell the bad drug, make money and apologize later. And I guess that”s the course of action that they are gonna take on this one too. Very scary.
Free Legal Advice: Medical Malpractice
Philadelphia and New Jersey made national headlines last month as scientists questioned whether the vast amount of pharmaceutical drugs found in our water supply could have long term effects on health and wellness. Now, new studies show “abnormal behavior” in human cells and wildlife after exposure to the same prescription drugs that we are consuming on a daily basis.
Locally, Philadelphia was found to have 56 different pharmaceutical contaminants (including medicine for pain, epilepsy, heart problems and mental illness), while water supplies in North Jersey were found to have significant amounts of metabolized angina medicine and psychiatric drugs.
Researchers believe the drugs entered the water supply through human waste. Apparently, when people take prescription drugs, whatever is not absorbed by the body is naturally eliminated and flushed down the toilet. And, although water is treated before public use, most treatments fail to completely remove pharmaceutical drug residue.
While health officials continue to insist that the amount of prescription drugs found in public water supplies are too small to have a therapeutic effect; they do not, however, dismiss the fact that frequent consumption of contaminated water can have long term health effects. EPA administrator, Benjamin Grumbles says that the situation is a “growing concern” and that they are taking these findings “very seriously.”
Furthermore, while it is too early to track the long-term effects of pharmaceutical contaminants in drinking water, scientists have
John R. Mininno, Esq. is a New Jersey and Pennsylvania trial lawyer representing clients in medical malpractice, defective products and other serious injury claims. He also writes about issues concerning patient safety. His offices are in Collingswood, NJ and Philadelphia, PA. For further information visit our our medical malpractice and injury website.