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Government Releases New Report on Antipsychotic Use Among Older Adults with Dementia

March 06, 2015

A new report was released Monday, March 2nd, by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the use of antipsychotic medications among older adults with dementia, including information on the use of these drugs in home-and-community based and assisted living settings. This report was requested by Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wisc), Tom Carper (D-Del), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. It details the limited progress the federal government has made in curbing the misuse of antipsychotic medications among nursing home residents with dementia and calls for the further reduction of the inappropriate use of these drugs in nursing homes as well as homevand-community based or assisted living settings.

In 2012, there were 1.2 million Medicare beneficiaries with dementia living outside of a nursing home and in another long-term care setting such as at home or within an assisted living facility. Fourteen percent of these individuals, or 170,000, were prescribed an antipsychotic. The rate was even higher in nursing homes, with roughly 313,000 of one million nursing home residents with dementia being prescribed an antipsychotic medication.

In the report, which can be read here, GAO urges efforts to be made by the federal government to reduce the misuse of these drugs in all settings. Consumer Voice has long advocated for ending the inappropriate use of antipsychotic medications among individuals with dementia. Click here learn more about this issue and Consumer Voice's advocacy efforts.

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