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Will the new CMS proposal to reduce access to antipsychotic drugs and antidepressants by nursing homes prevent abuse or create health risk to the elderly?

Unnecessary use of antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs by nursing homes has lead to abuse and has been a preoccupation of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) for many years. A proposal for a new rule to modify access to antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs was published by the CMS last month. The CMS proposes to eliminate the antidepressant drugs and some immunosuppressant drugs from the list of protective classes by the beginning of 2015. The antipsychotic drugs would be removed from the protected list a year after to facilitate medication transition for people taking these drugs. While some believe that this change of policy would reduce the overuse and misuse of antipsychotic drugs by nursing homes others believe that unnecessary change of antipsychotic drugs in a patient can have very negative consequences for his or her health. What do you think?

The CMS is accepting comments on this proposal until March 7th 2014.

Read more in Annals of Long Term Care