Federal investigators have found that many elderly nursing home residents with dementia are prescribed antipsychotic drugs (like Seroquel, Risperdal, and Zyprexa) despite the increased risk of death that these medications pose.

According to a report released last month by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG), 88 percent of reimbursement claims submitted to Medicare for antipsychotic drugs prescribed for nursing home residents during a six-month review period (January to June 2007) were for residents diagnosed with dementia. These drugs carry a black box warning stating that they pose an increased risk of death in elderly patients with that condition.

“Government, taxpayers, nursing home residents, as well as their families and caregivers should be outraged—and seek solutions,” HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson said in a statement following the release of the report. “It is of great concern that so many nursing home residents are prescribed these drugs in the first place.”

My Take: We see nursing home residents placed on these dangerous medications in many of the nursing homes in Central and Southwest Virginia. Families and Residents beware!

Dan Frith
Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at