Archive for the ‘Psychiatric Drugs’ Category

Abbot Labs to Pay $1.5 Bil in Settlement

November 10, 2012

As part of the largest Medicaid fraud case ever led by a state, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced the sentencing of global health care company Abbott Laboratories Inc. in the United States District Court in Abingdon, Va., today [10/5]. The court approved the $1.5 billion settlement reached on May 7, 2012, among Abbott, Virginia, the United States government, and 48 other states and the District of Columbia, in which Abbott pled guilty to a criminal charge and admitted civil liability for the company’s unlawful promotion of the prescription drug Depakote for uses not approved as safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) was the lead investigative agency in the case, partnering with the prosecutors and civil attorneys from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia. This was the largest Medicaid fraud recovery in U.S. history resulting from a state-led investigation, with the Virginia MFCU spending more than four years on the investigation, traveling to 26 states to conduct interviews and sifting through more than one million records looking for evidence.

When it pled guilty in May, Abbott agreed to pay $1.5 billion to resolve its criminal and civil liability pertaining to government health care programs that were defrauded based on reimbursements paid for Depakote due to Abbott’s illegal marketing practices. The settlement that was approved today includes a criminal fine and forfeiture totaling $700 million and civil settlements with the federal government and the states totaling $800 million.

The civil settlement includes $270 million for the federal government’s share of the Medicaid program; $239 million for the states’ share of the Medicaid program; and $291 million for Medicare and other federal programs. Abbott will also pay a $500 million fine to the federal government, $198.5 million in criminal asset forfeiture penalties, and $1.5 million to Virginia MFCU to cover investigative costs. Virginia’s share of the Medicaid civil settlement is $4.2 million.

Abbott must also agree to the terms of a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Full Article and Source:
Abbot Labs to Pay $1.5 Billion in Virginia Led Case
See Also:
Abbot Labratories to Pay $1 bil Over Misbranding Drug

Video: Overmedicated?

October 31, 2012

James R Graham, over-medicated at Sheridan Care Center at Sheridan, Oregon with his wife of 55 years; Joyce Graham visiting him. This is the video Joyce’s lawyer, David Cramer should have secured to support her Petition for Guardianship which she neither of them should have had to do as man and wife. Source: James R. Graham and wife Joyce after he was kidnapped by Adult Protective Services

Psychiatric Coercion and Restraint

September 30, 2012

Today, psychiatrists’ use of physical and chemical restraints in mental institutions is a very lucrative procedure.

Psychiatric Coercion and Restraint

Use of Chemical Restraints in Nursing Homes Called an Epidemic

September 26, 2012

Nearly 25 percent of the residents in California’s nursing homes are placed on antipsychotic drugs, often used as sort of a chemical leash to control behavior in a trend a watchdog called an epidemic Thursday at a symposium.

The drugs can double the risk of death for seniors with dementia and cause side effects ranging from stroke to delirium, according to speakers at an Oxnard conference called “Toxic Medicine.” Often the drugs are given in nursing homes or other facilities for dementia without the informed consent of residents or surrogates and are used as a restraint rather than to treat psychiatric conditions.

Over the past decade the use of the drugs has evolved from a sniffle to a flu to something much worse, said Sylvia Taylor Stein, of the Long Term Care Services of Ventura County ombudsman program.

“By 2010 we had an epidemic,” she said in a symposium organized by her group and the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. It was attended by a packed house of nursing home leaders, assisted-living administrators, elder abuse lawyers and state licensing agencies.

Some at the conference linked the use of antipsychotics to staff shortages that make it impossible for employees to properly care for patients, state cuts in mental health programs that have brought more patients with psychiatric problems to long-term care facilities and doctors who have a drug-first mentality when it comes to long-term care residents.

Anthony Chicotel, an attorney with the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, said there are appropriate uses of the medication, such as when a patient has illnesses like schizophrenia. But Medicare statistics from the second quarter of last year showed 24.2 percent of the residents in the state’s nursing homes were on antipsychotics. Medicare statistics from 2009 showed the use of the medication fluctuated greatly at different Ventura County nursing homes — from a low of 7 percent of the patients on the drugs seven days over one week to a high of about 30.6 percent.

Often, use of the drugs becomes ingrained in a long-term care site’s culture, Chicotel said. When patients with dementia or other issues yell in the middle night, hit other residents or try to flee the place, staff members call the physician.

“Hey doc, we have a new resident. He’s out of control. He’s throwing feces. We need a pill,” he said.

Full Article and Source:
Use of Chemical Restraints in Nursing Homes Called an Epidemic

See Also:

CANHR: STOP Drugging Our Elderly!

September 12, 2012

California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform has launched a campaign to end the misuse of psychoactive drugs in California nursing homes.

“Stop Drugging Our Elderly” Part 1 of 3 by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform”

“Stop Drugging Our Elderly” Part 2 of 3 by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform”

“Stop Druggng Our Elderly” Part 3 of 3 by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform”

See Also:

Autistic Adult in Crisis Goes Unnoticed

August 31, 2012

WARNING: Disturbing footage: Mom Discovers Autistic Son in Drug-Induced Crisis, during HOSPITAL stay, while nurses and doctors fail to notice! Patient was given drug Haldol, which is listed on his chart as a drug NOT to give. They gave it anyway. Video illuminates patient abuse and neglect of severely-autistic patients/persons inside hospital and institutional settings. Hospitals are seldom equipped to deal with severe autism and complex medical or behavioral issues.

Autistic Adult in Crisis Goes Unnoticed

CCHR: Psychiatric Abuse of the Elderly

August 12, 2012

An estimated 15,000 Elderly patients are killed ever year from antipsychotic drugs – while thousands more are electroshocked.

Psychiatry and those who follow their practices (drugs, restraints, electroshock) have no reverence or respect for the elderly, and employ dangerous drugs and ‘treatments’ as a method of control and keeping them quiet. They will happily supply endless prescriptions of psychoactive drugs or ECT. In just a six-month time period in 2007, Medicare received $309 million in claims for antipsychotics for elderly in nursing homes. Daniel R. Levinson, Office of Inspector General (OIG), Department of Health and Human Services, stated recently, “Despite the fact that it is potentially lethal to prescribe antipsychotics to patients with dementia, there’s ample evidence that some drug companies aggressively marketed their products towards such populations, putting profits before safety…. Government, taxpayers, nursing home residents, as well as their families and caregivers should be outraged — and seek solutions.”

The Age-Old Dilemma: Mandated Administration for Psychotropic Medication for Wards

July 18, 2012

American law allows certain individuals-guardians-to exercise dominion over others-wards or incapacitated persons (“IPs”)-in some circumstances.’ This kind of control is permissible and often necessary because the IP is unable to perform certain tasks.

The guardian’s decision-making may fulfill many needs of the IP,such as well-reasoned decisions involving investments, day-to-day activities, and medical choices.

Depending on the state statutory and common law, a guardian may be given the right to make medical decisions for the IP.2 This right may include the ability to consent to psychotropic medications for the IP, even when the IP pronounces her will not to take them.

This ability of a guardian to consent to the administration of psychotropic medications for her ward has been a source of controversy in New York.4 It seems obvious that New York’s legislature intended that guardians have the ability to consent, as this right is expressly given in the Mental Hygiene Law.5 Nevertheless, the issue has arisen in New York State courts. Further complicating the issue, various jurisdictions have ruled differently on whether a guardian has the right to so consent.6 Within the Second Department alone, there are two contradictory Supreme Court decisions.

The legislature has made it clear through its enactment of Mental Hygiene Law sections 81.22(a)(8) and 81.01 that it intended a guardian’s potential powers to include the power to consent to administration of psychotropic medication.8 The New York Court of Appeals should give credence to the legislative statute, and hold that in certain circumstances, guardians can be given the right to consent to psychotropic medication for their IPs. This right of a guardian should not be unlimited, but it must be among the rights that a court can bestow, in order to best protect the IP.

Full Paper and Source:
The Age-Old Dilemma: Mandated Administration for Psychotropic Medication for Wards

CMS Wants to Cut Antipsychotics in Nursing Homes

June 5, 2012

After numerous disclosures that antipsychotics have been aggressively promoted to nursing homes, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is trumpeting a plan to reduce usage in nursing home residents by 15 percent by the end of this year. Why? CMS data show that, in 2010, more than 17 percent of nursing home patients had daily doses exceeding recommended levels.

“A CMS nursing home resident report found that almost 40 percent of nursing home patients with signs of dementia were receiving antipsychotic drugs at some point in 2010, even though there was no diagnosis of psychosis,” CMS Chief Medical Officer and Director of Clinical Standards and Quality Patrick Conway says in a statement that announced a partnership with nursing homes, advocacy groups, caregivers and government agencies to find a way to reduce usage.

To cope with the problem, CMS plans to offer a training series for nursing homes that emphasizes “person-centered care,” prevention of abuse and high-quality care for residents. CMS is also providing training focused on behavioral health to state and federal surveyors. The agency is also making data on each nursing home’s antipsychotic drug use available on the Nursing Home Compare web site starting in July, and will emphasize “non-pharmacological alternatives” for nursing home residents, including consistent staff assignments, increased exercise or time outdoors, monitoring and managing acute and chronic pain, and planning individualized activities.

Toby Edelman, senior policy attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy, tells The Boston Globe that strong rules are in place to combat overmedication in nursing homes, but regulators too often fail to enforce them. She combed through databases nationwide to track how often nursing homes were penalized specifically for overusing antipsychotics during the past six years and could find just a handful of cases. “Even when instances are cited, nothing happens,” she says.

Full Article and Source:
CMS Wants to Cut Antipsychotics in Nursing Homes

Nursing Home Antipsychotic Legislation Set Aside

June 5, 2012

The U.S. Senate did not approve legislation that would strengthen regulations for antipsychotic use in nursing homes, despite overwhelmingly passing a bill it was attached to on Thursday.

Last week, Sens. Herb Kohl (D-WI), Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) proposed a regulation that would have standardized protocols for obtaining informed consent before administering antipsychotics for off-label use. The legislation was proposed as an amendment to an existing Food and Drug Administration reauthorization bill (S. 3187), which was passed by the Senate in a 96-1 vote Thursday.

However, a spokesman for the Special Senate Committee on Aging told McKnight’s that the nursing home regulation was not voted on and wasn’t included in the manager’s amendment.

He added that “the amendment was filed to help bring some needed attention to the widespread problem of the misuse of the antipsychotics among frail elders.” Going forward, he said Kohl and Grassley will “look at other legislative vehicles or stand-alone legislation.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had urged quick passage of the bill, without many amendments. Senators agreed to consider just 17 of them.

Nursing Home Antipsychotic Legislation Set Aside