More than half of the antipsychotics paid for by the federal Medicare program in the first half of 2007 were “erroneous,” the audit found, costing the program $116 million for those six months.
“Government, taxpayers, nursing home residents as well as their families and caregivers should be outraged and seek solutions,” Daniel R. Levinson, inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, wrote in announcing the audit results.
Mr. Levinson noted that such drugs — which include Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Abilify and Geodon — are “potentially lethal” to many of the patients getting them and that some drug manufacturers illegally marketed their medicines for these uses “putting profits before safety.”
The article continues: “In response to the audit, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said that some of the inappropriate use of antipsychotics in elderly nursing home patients is a result of drug makers’ paying kickbacks to nursing homes to increase prescriptions for the medicines.”
Copyright 2011 -- The New York Times