A new study has revealed a shocking scam to push an unneeded drug on the elderly. Your own family might be suffering—being forced to take medication they don’t need.
There have been many stories over the years that have exposed the corruption in our country’s nursing homes. People charged with the care of our elderly grandparents and parents have been abusing them. They have neglected the oldest among us or have used them for their own nefarious gain.
This is a common practice, considering the state of many elderly. At an age when their bodies and minds might be weaker, they cannot fight back or defend themselves. Add to that the medical coverage they receive for illnesses, you have a situation where corrupt individuals are using the elderly to rack in large sums of cash.
Up until now it has only been isolated con artists. Now we are learning that a major company is doing this.
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…
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…
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.
It’s clear that the drug is best used for a small number of cases. But far be it for the drug industry to let a good product go to waste! They have been pushing this pill for cases that hardly need it—simply to bill their health insurance.
As bad as the greed seems, think of the condition of the victims. Elderly Americans are being forced drugs they don’t need. Generally healthy people are suffering side effects. Worse still, people with legitimate illnesses are being made even worse.
“There has to be a diagnosis for every drug prescribed, and that diagnosis has to be real … it cannot be simply made up by a doctor,” said Kathryn Locatell, a geriatric physician who helps the California Department of Justice investigate cases of elder abuse in nursing homes. “There is little to no medical literature to support the drug’s use in nursing home residents (with dementia) — the population apparently being targeted.”
This is a sick and twisted scheme, and one that demands action. The government might step in, but it takes time for state and federal lawmakers to move to action. Eventually this practice might be brought to heel, but that might take too long.
Family members must get involved. If you are being prescribed this drug, you need to get a second opinion to find out if you really need to take it. If grandparents and parents are being prescribed this drug, they need to know about it. They must confront nursing homes who might be pushing this unneeded drug.
The welfare of our parents is at stake.