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Contact Senators Feinstein and Boxer Today to Cut Misuse of Antipsychotics in Nursing Homes


Yesterday, U.S. Senators Kohl, Grassley and Blumenthal introduced an amendment to S. 3187, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, that uses consumer empowerment to cut the misuse of antipsychotic drugs for nursing home residents with dementia. The amendment would require the Health and Human Services Secretary to issue standardized protocols to nursing homes for obtaining informed consent from patients or their legal representatives, acknowledging possible risks and side effects associated with an antipsychotic, as well as alternative treatment options, before administering the drug for off-label use.

The amendment may be taken up today or any time this week, so immediate action is needed!

One in four California nursing home residents receive powerful antipsychotic medications despite FDA "Black Box" warnings that they are dangerous and even fatal for the elderly with dementia and are outperformed by less expensive and more humane dementia care options. What's worse, the drugs are often administered without consent to "chemically restrain" residents. Overdrugging costs the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars nationally, as more than half the prescriptions do not comply with federal reimbursement criteria.

For more information about CANHR's Campaign to End the Misuse of Psychotropic Drugs in California Nursing Homes, please go to www.canhr.org/stop-drugging.

Please contact Senators Boxer and Feinstein today and urge them to improve the lives of people with dementia today by voting for S. 3187!

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer http://boxer.senate.gov/en/contact/policycomments.cfm (202) 224-3553

U.S Senator Dianne Feinstein https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me (202) 224-3841

Sample e-mail message:

Dear Senator:

I urge you to vote yes for the Kohl-Grassley-Blumenthal amendment to S. 3187 to require informed consent protocols for administering antipsychotics to nursing home residents with dementia. One in four nursing home residents receive at least one powerful antipsychotic drug. A recent OIG report found almost 90% of the drugs were given contrary to FDA Black Box warnings that the drugs can nearly double the residents' risk of death. Over half of the drugs were given in violation of Medicare prescription guidelines, resulting in millions of dollars of wasteful and dangerous federal spending. Implementing informed consent protocols will ensure residents are fully informed about the dangers of antipsychotics, as well as the existence of less harmful and more effective non-drugging treatment options.