In this blog for CNN health, Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken discuss the exponential increase in the prescription of the drug Nuedexta to care home residents with dementia in the US. A CNN investigation found that the number of Nuedexta pills dispensed to care home facilities increased by nearly 400% in four years, prompting concerns that it is being inappropriately prescribed.
The drug is designed to treat a rare disorder called pseudobulbar affect (PBA) which occurs in only 5% patients with dementia. State regulators have found doctors inappropriately diagnosing nursing home residents with PBA to justify using Nuedexta to treat patients whose confusion and agitation make them difficult to manage. Analysis by CNN also found that nearly half the Nuedexta claims filed with Medicare in 2015 came from doctors who had received money or other perks from the manufacturer.
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