Pharmaceutical companies may have illegally promoted atypical antipsychotic drugs (AAP) for dangerous off-label uses in nursing homes, according to report by the Department of Health and Human Services. Given the possible deadly side effects of these drugs when used on patients with dementia, this is particularly alarming.
Patients with dementia treated with these atypical antipsychotic drugs were determined to have a risk of death 1.6 to 1.7 times those treated with a placebo, and as a result, in 2005 the FDA required drug manufacturers to include a boxed warning describing this increased danger. Despite these risks, the study concludes that 88 percent of AAP prescriptions were for patients suffering from dementia, in direct contradiction with the FDA boxed warning.
The overmedication of nursing home patients is not a new revelation. Eli Lilly, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Astra Zeneca, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson have all recently been accused of crimes and involved in lawsuits connected with the illegal marketing of atypical antipsychotic drugs for off-label conditions. As noted by Health and Human Services Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson, the marketing of drugs to at-risk populations may seem as if pharmaceutical companies have decided to “put profits before safety.” These business practices will continue to prompt nursing home abuse lawsuits alleging the complicity of nursing homes and pharmaceutical companies in marketing and administering potentially deadly overmedication.
Nursing home abuse is extremely underreported, but especially in cases like this, the results can be very serious. Disregard for the health of a patient by doctors, nursing homes, and pharmaceutical companies could lead to the illness or death of a loved one.
If you or a loved one have been unfortunate enough to be involved in such a traumatic experience, Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers can help protect your rights and pursue compensation for your loss. Fill out a risk-free, no-cost case evaluation today today. Learn more about fighting elder abuse here.