Government Accountability Office Finds Widespread Overdrugging of Elderly


The US Government Accountability Office has found evidence of “widespread overuse of psychiatric drugs” in elderly Americans staying in nursing homes, reported the New York Times. The federal report was released a day later.

“Antipsychotic drugs are frequently prescribed to older adults with dementia,” stated the GAO report. “GAO’s analysis found that about one-third of older adults with dementia who spent more than 100 days in a nursing home in 2012 were prescribed an antipsychotic…”

The report recommended that Medicare officials “take immediate action to reduce unnecessary prescriptions,” stated the Times.

Antipsychotic Drug Use: HHS Has Initiatives to Reduce Use among Older Adults in Nursing Homes, but Should Expand Efforts to Other Settings (Government Accountability Office, March 2, 2015)

Psychiatric Drug Overuse Is Cited by Federal Study (New York Times, March 1, 2015)