Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes
The nursing home abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm Inc. often write in this column about the sad reality of nursing home abuse in Alameda County and throughout California. A recent CNN story uncovered the increased rates at which a particular medication, Nuedexta, is being prescribed to more and more nursing home residents. Ingrid Evans and the other nursing home abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm represent nursing home abuse victims in Alameda County and throughout California and want to bring the story to your attention. If you or someone you know is suffering from nursing home abuse in Alameda County or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid Evans and the other nursing home abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm today at 415-441-8669, and we can help.
According to the CNN story, 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, CNN reported, based on a calculation using the drug maker’s own figures. It is most commonly associated with people who have multiple sclerosis (MS) or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Increasingly, according to CNN, the drug is being prescribed to nursing home residents suffering from dementia. That is raising concerns among regulators throughout the country, according to the CNN story.
Regulators in California are taking a close look at the drug’s use on nursing home patients. “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,” Kathryn Locatell, a geriatric physician who helps the California Department of Justice investigate cases of elder abuse in nursing homes, told CNN. “There is little to no medical literature to support the drug’s use in nursing home residents (with dementia) — the population apparently being targeted.” CNN identified dozens of cases across the country since 2013 in which state nursing home inspectors questioned the use of Nuedexta. In a Los Angeles nursing home last year, regulators found that more than a quarter of its residents — 46 of 162 — had been placed on Nuedexta according to CNN.
Protecting Yourself And Your Loved Ones
It is important to be vigilant about preventing elder abuse, both in Alameda County nursing homes and beyond. One of the first complaints about Nuedexta for a nursing home patient came from a family member, according to the CNN story. Since then, CNN identified more than 80 cases in 19 states where inspectors cited nursing homes for inappropriate monitoring and use of Nuedexta — often because residents hadn’t exhibited any symptoms of PBA. Forty percent of the cases were clustered in Southern California, where the drug’s manufacturer is based and where former employees said there has been aggressive marketing, according to CNN.
If you or a loved one is or has been the victim of nursing home abuse in Alameda County, or in any California county, contact Ingrid Evans and the other nursing home abuse attorneys at the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.