Nursing Home Antipsychotic Legislation Set Aside

As reported last week, on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, Sens. Herb Kohl (D-WI), Charles Grassley (R-IA), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) proposed legislation that, if passed, would have heightened regulations in nursing homes for usage of antipsychotic drugs. Specifically, the legislations would have required nursing homes to provide information about the possible side effects associated with antipsychotic medications before administering the drugs for off-label use.  Although attached as an amendment to an existing Food and Drug Administration reauthorization bill, which was passed Thursday by an overwhelming margin, the U.S. Senate did not approve the proposed bill.

A spokesman for the Special Senate Committee on Aging reported that “the amendment was filed to help bring some needed attention to the widespread problem of the misuse of the antipsychotic drugs among frail elders.”