antipsychotic drugs

A study published Monday by Human Rights Watch finds that about 179,000 nursing home residents are being given antipsychotic drugs, even though they don't have schizophrenia or other serious mental illnesses that those drugs are designed to treat.

Seven years after a U.S. senator cited him as a national example of aberrant practices, the onetime top prescriber of antipsychotic drugs in Florida’s Medicaid program is in federal custody awaiting sentencing on fraud charges.

While more than a dozen nursing homes in Florida have stopped prescribing antipsychotic medications to dementia patients, and the percentage of nursing home residents in Florida being prescribed the risky, mood altering drugs has fallen to 21.2 percent, doctors at nursing homes in Volusia and Flagler counties continue to prescribe the drugs at high rates, an investigation by the Daytona Beach News-Journal reveals. 

 

It's one of the worst fears we have for our parents or for ourselves: that we, or they, will end up in a nursing home, drugged into a stupor. And that fear is not entirely unreasonable. Almost 300,000 nursing home residents are currently receiving antipsychotic drugs, usually to suppress the anxiety or aggression that can go with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia.

Four years after becoming a national symbol of reckless overprescribing, a Miami psychiatrist received a reprimand and $15,000 fine from the Florida Board of Medicine on Friday.

The board, meeting in Orlando, accepted the agreement between Dr. Fernando Mendez-Villamil and the Department of Health without comment. In addition to the reprimand and fine, the agreement calls for him to be evaluated for mental and behavioral fitness, for his practice to be assessed for risks, and for him to reimburse the state more than $22,000 in costs. 

A Yale study shows people in Gainesville use antipsychotic drugs at a higher rate than any other city in the nation, the Gainesville Sun reports. A professor from the University of Florida says the high rate is likely because Gainesville’s VA Medical Center serves as a “hub” for patients from other areas.