Independent Pharmacists Needed to Review Residents’ Drugs

Looking to help protect nursing home residents from chemical restraints? There is a great, easy opportunity to do so this week, courtesy of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care.

In response to proposed federal regulations that would require nursing homes to use independent pharmacists to review residents’ drugs, the Consumer Voice has drafted a letter for organizations and groups to sign-on in support of this promising reform. Please join CANHR in helping this proposal succeed by signing-on to the letter. You can read the letter and sign-on by clicking here.

The Consumer Voice has also prepared a template for individuals to submit comments to the federal government in support of this proposal. Click here for information.

Sign-ons are due no later than this Friday, December 9th at 9 am PST.

A bit of background information. Nursing homes have long been required to hire consultant pharmacists to review residents’ drug regimens on a monthly basis to identify concerns about unsafe and unnecessary drugs. In many nursing homes, however, the pharamcists have failed to put the breaks on the rampant use of psychoactive drugs as chemical restraints because most of them work for large, national long-term care pharmacies that sell drugs to nursing homes. There is a big concern that the consultant pharmacists often act as an extension of the pharmacy’s sales force rather than to protect residents from unnecessary or unsafe drugs.

Recent Department of Public Health investigations concerning the misuse of antipsychotic drugs underscore the problems caused by lack of independence. In 90 percent of the cases where DPH found that a nursing home was inappropriately using antipsychotic drugs, the consultant pharmacist failed to detect the misuse. 90 percent!!

So please add your voice to the growing chorus for reform. CANHR greatly appreciates your help.

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Responses to CANHR blog postings do not reflect the opinions of CANHR or its staff members.

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