by Kelly Patricia O’Meara September 12, 2013 Antipsychotic drugs cause brain shrinkage. This is the conclusion of yet another study, considered the largest longitudinal brain-scan…
All of the major manufacturers of these drugs have been fined by the Food and Drug Administration for illegal marketing practices — in part, for marketing the drugs for unapproved use in children — with some convicted of criminal charges.
Eli Lilly, which manufactures the atypical antipsychotic Zyprexa, paid out $1.42 billion in 2009 — $615 million of that to settle criminal charges. The charges against Lilly involved selling Zyprexa to doctors for use in children, despite the fact that it was not approved for this age group.
Long-term-care (LTC) facilities are overusing antipsychotic drugs. One of every 7 elderly nursing home residents is receiving at least 1 atypical antipsychotic; in 83% of these cases, the drug is associated with a dementia diagnosis, yet the use of atypical antipsychotics in dementia increases the risk of death and is not approved by FDA, according to a report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
Pharmaceutical companies have recently paid out the largest legal settlements in U.S. history — including the largest criminal fines ever imposed on corporations — for illegally marketing antipsychotic drugs. The payouts totaled more than $5 billion. But the worst costs of the drugs are being borne by the most vulnerable patients: children and teens in psychiatric hospitals, foster care and juvenile prisons, as well as elderly people in nursing homes. They are medicated for conditions for which the drugs haven’t been proven safe or effective — in some cases, with death known as a known possible outcome.
The benefit for drug companies is cold profit. Antipsychotics bring in some $14 billion a year. So-called “atypical” or “second-generation” antipsychotics like Geodon, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Abilify and Risperdal rake in more money than any other class of medication on the market and, dollar for dollar, they are the biggest selling drugs in America.
Antipsychotic drugs prescribed to as many as one in seven patients with dementia at nursing homes increase the risk of death and are not approved for such uses, a government audit has found.
Drugs such as Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Abilify and Geodon are “potentially lethal” to many of the patients getting them and in many cases, completely unnecessary and unneeded.