Patient Groups Skeptical of CMS Plan to Curb Use of Risperdal, other Antipsychotic Meds

Published on September 23, 2014 by Laurie Villanueva

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)’s recently announced plan to cut the use of antipsychotic drugs similar one now involved in hundreds of Risperdal lawsuit filings has since been met with skepticism from U.S. medical groups, according to recent reports.

An article published September 22nd on ModernHealthCare.com indicates that the CMS unveiled plans earlier that month to reduce the number of nursing home patients taking Risperdal and other products by 25 percent over the next year. By the end of 2016, the federal agency hopes to further decrease that number to 30 percent, which will be tacked on to the 17.1 percent reduction that has occurred since 2012. That same year, the CMS launched the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes. The agency admits that its mission to combat wrongful antipsychotic drug use is ambitious, but will force nursing home practitioners to consider other ways of treating dementia patients.

Patient advocates disagree, stating that the CMS approach will be ineffective if the agency fails to regularly monitor its program’s status.

CMS Plan Fails to Address Follow-Through of Risperdal Reduction

A public policy consultant for California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform voiced her opinion on the matter, stating that the CMS plan is “leaving out the primary component, and that is regulation.” She later stressed that the agency must do more to ensure that individuals with dementia are properly treated.

“Goal-setting is not going to get us to protecting all residents who are being given these drugs,” she said.

According the Modern Health Care report, representatives from this organization, as well as the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care and the Long Term Care Community Coalition voiced similar concerns in a July letter to the CMS. The agency’s plan inadequately describes ways in which nursing homes will be monitored to ensure that they are limiting use of Risperdal and other drugs, and “promotes paltry, numerical goals that many nursing homes ignore with impunity,” the letter states.

In addition to problems with antipsychotic drug use in dementia patients, a number of medical community members have raised concerns about patient side effects associated with products including Risperdal. A number of lawsuits alleging Risperdal gynecomastia, a side effect categorized by male breast development, have now been filed in Pennsylvania state court, for example, where they are continuing to increase.

Pursue a Risperdal Lawsuit

Contact a Risperdal lawyer for more about the rising number of lawsuits that have now been filed over the antipsychotic drug: .