Tag Archives: elderly

The disgrace of a nation that treats old people like animals

Let’s imagine for a moment that it’s routine practice in this country to sedate babies who won’t settle: that the more they cry, the more drugs are poured down their tiny throats.

The same treatment, let’s imagine, is also routine for the mentally disabled: whenever they create too much disturbance, we simply cosh them with chemicals.

There would be a national outcry. Heads would roll. Money would be found immediately to train medical staff and carers so that such a scandal could never, ever happen again.

Now let’s stop imagining and face the appalling truth. The nightmare scenario that I’ve just painted is precisely what’s happening to some of the most vulnerable people in the land — the elderly.

Medicare fraud case nets dozens of arrests

“On Tuesday and Wednesday, federal agents fanned out across three South Florida counties, arresting a total of 42 Medicare fraud offenders. Three others charged are believed to be in Florida. The sweep came almost one year after the indictment of Miami-based American Therapeutic Corp., with seven regional clinics. A total of 24 defendants, including senior executives, psychiatrists and counselors, were charged, netting several guilty pleas and one trial conviction. That case alone accounted for $200 million in fraudulent Medicare claims during the past decade. The agency paid out $83 million.”

Attorney General Alleges Jansen Illegally Marketed Antipsychotic Drug – to kids and the elderly

Drug manufacturer Ortho-McNeil-Janssen is being sued by Attorney General Martha Coakley for illegally marketing Risperdal, an atypical antipsychotic medication. The complaint, filed this week in Suffolk Superior Court, further alleges that Janssen failed to disclose serious risks associated with Risperdal’s use, including the risk of excessive weight gain, diabetes and, for elderly dementia patients, an increased risk of death.

Five dementia sufferers die every day from antipsychotic drugs

Five dementia sufferers die each day after being wrongly prescribed “chemical cosh” drugs, the Department of Health has warned. A Government-commissioned report published in 2009 estimated that 180,000 dementia sufferers are being prescribed anti-psychotic drugs but in as many as 150,000 cases they are unnecessarily being taken, often to keep patients quiet in hospital or nursing homes.

Because the “chemical cosh” drugs are feared to worsen other medical conditions and speed up mental decline, it is estimated that they lead to 1,800 needless deaths – five a day – every year. In addition, they are thought to cause 1,620 strokes, half of which are severe.