Risperdal lawsuit exposes ugly truths about elderly care

This past week, Johnson & Johnson was fined over $2 billion for false marketing and providing kickbacks to doctors and medical care providers regarding the off-label use of the drug Risperdal. I’ve written before how much my father’s mental and physical health declined after being prescribed Risperdal in the nursing home. Omnicare, which supplied my father’s medications, also paid a major fine of $98 million.

I remember the indifferent attitude the doctor at the local hospital had when I questioned the use of Risperdal, which was already controversial even while my dad was still alive. The doctor just shrugged his shoulders and said they had to continue prescribing what the doctor from the nursing home had ordered. He asked me if I knew what it was for and I responded “to make patients like zombies so they’re easier for the nursing home staff to deal with” and the doctor agreed with a laugh. I did not find it funny at all.

Image credit: Schmidt  & Clark, LLP

Image credit: Schmidt & Clark, LLP

Fines don’t bring back our loved ones who were harmed by this drug, but perhaps it will make pharmaceutical giants, doctors and nursing homes think twice before prescribing medications that can cause great harm to their patients. It’s difficult for caregivers to keep track of all of the medications being provided to a loved one when they are in a nursing home. I only discovered the extensive medication list for my dad when I examined the invoices that had been mailed to my mother from Omnicare. They wanted their money, over several thousand dollars worth racked up in less than a year, when in fact they were pushing a drug that was hazardous for elderly patients with dementia like my dad.

I’m not one for overzealous lawsuits and I’m not necessarily anti-corporate, but I’m glad that the whistleblowers exposed these companies for the malicious practices they were engaged in that impacted those with mental health issues who could not defend themselves. Better late than never when it comes to justice.

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12 Comments

Filed under Awareness & Activism

12 responses to “Risperdal lawsuit exposes ugly truths about elderly care

  1. Thank you for q very informative post! I am thankful dqd is doing well and is not on such medications. I will have to keep myself informed if thie dhanges.

  2. Reblogged this on Dealing with Dementia and commented:
    If you are considering medications or have a loved one in an Assisted Living Facility, visit this blog and check out her stories. My Mom has been getting more combative and this topic is weighing on my mind. Many family members warned me and this blog does a good job of educating you on the issues. THANK YOU Memories Project!

  3. Reblogged this on Creating life with words: Inspiration, love and truth and commented:
    Thank you for bringing this one to our attention, and for your terrific Memories Project. Overuse of anti psychotics and other restraints is a hot topic globally, and companies like this must beheld accountable.

  4. It is never ending, the abuse!!!! Here in the states they just yesterday came out with the information that new cholesterol guide lines will be put in place doubling or tripling the number of people who will now be put on statin drugs and they have so many BAD side effects it is astounding that they are even allowed anymore let alone increasing dramatically the number of people doctors will be putting on them…It is all so hideously corrupt it makes me sick inside. Growing VERY weary of fighting this evil off…VK xxoo

    • I agree this is a troubling development. I just saw an article about that and questioning if people can take a pill that counteracts the effects of an unhealthy diet, what incentives are there for people to actually eat healthy, which of course is the safest way to reduce the risk of a host of diseases, including dementia.

  5. Visionkeeper:
    The Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) highlighted the potential health issues related to cholesterol in 3 programmes on the Catalyst programme. The first was about Sugar (vs fat) in August and the last 2 weeks have been about the heart, one specifically about Statins, and how pointless they are with many side effects. The negatives blogs seem to all be coming from Doctors. The programme sources are all from the USA.
    If you search the programme website, you will find them in the archives.

  6. Pingback: Reduce antipsychotic drug use in dementia patients by using another drug? | The Memories Project

  7. justkmm

    Reblogged this on How Can It Be ? and commented:
    I was beginning to think it was just me , Mom went to assisted living walking , socializing , and within a month she slid down-hill.
    I had to bring her a walker , she couldn’t get out of the bed /leading to incontinence , she couldn’t think n could bearly talk !
    The assisted living associates bullied mom about her set backs n complained when she couldn’t get her shoes on !! 6 thousand cash a month n they were killing her !
    I gave 30 day notice she was coming home … the day she was to leave she suffered Heart Block from the meds !!

    • Thank you for reblogging my post. I’m sorry to hear about what happened to your mother. Unfortunately, what we’ve experienced seems to be far too common. I hope the tide is turning against the blind use of these medications, which can have such serious, even deadly side effects. Thanks for sharing your story.

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