Off Label with Nursing Home Patients

This disturbing investigation by CNN of the off label use of a medication on nursing home patients reinforces the responsibility of caregivers to know the names, dosages and the “exact medical reason” for each medication the older family member is taking. This not something caregivers can ignore or outsource, and is also something they should be doing with their own medications…

“The maker of a little red pill intended to treat a rare condition is raking in hundreds of millions of dollars a year as it aggressively targets frail and elderly nursing home residents for whom the drug may be unnecessary or even unsafe,?a CNN investigation has found.

And much of the money is coming straight from the federal government.
The pill, called Nuedexta, is approved to treat a disorder marked by sudden and uncontrollable laughing or crying — known as pseudobulbar affect, or PBA. This condition afflicts less than 1% of all Americans, based on a calculation using the drugmaker’s own figures, and it is most commonly associated with people who have multiple sclerosis (MS) or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Nuedexta’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, and high-volume prescribing and advocacy efforts by doctors receiving payments from the company, CNN found.”

Read entire article here

Here is a simple form that caregivers can use to profile and keep an up to date census of the medications their aging parents are taking.  Feel free to make copies and share it with anyone who finds it useful…







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