Red Pill

Big Pharma Pushes Little Red Pill on Helpless Nursing Home Residents

In All Health Watch, Alzheimer's and Memory, Big Pharma, Health Warning by INH Research0 Comments

Big Pharma’s greed knows no bounds… They are raking in hundreds of millions of dollars targeting frail and elderly nursing home residents with a phony Alzheimer’s pill.1

And much of the profit comes straight from your tax dollars.

The pill is called Nuedexta. It is FDA approved to treat a rare disorder marked by sudden and uncontrollable laughing or crying.2

But this condition, known as pseudobulbar affect or PBA, afflicts less than 1% of Americans. So the market for Nuedexta is tiny.

Alzheimer’s affects far more people…more than 5.5 million in the U.S. alone. About 1 in 3 seniors die with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. America spends $260 billion each year battling these disorders.3

So what did Big Pharma do? It marketed Nuedexta as an “off-label” Alzheimer’s treatment to capture this lucrative market.

Sales of Nuedexta have since jumped 400%. It now brings in $300 million a year. More than half of those sales are to nursing home patients. These patients are often defenseless. They are not lucid enough to make their own medication decisions. They take whatever pill is given to them.

Nursing Home Patients Defenseless Against Big Pharma’s Greed

Avanir Pharmaceuticals makes Nuedexta. By the company’s own admission, the drug doesn’t treat Alzheimer’s. But they found a way to get around this.

Avanir funded a survey that falsely claimed that 40% of dementia patients suffer from PBA. Dementia experts, including some of Avanir’s own doctors, say that’s not true. PBA is rare in dementia patients. At most only 5% of patients are ever affected by it.4

Besides the survey, Avanir used Big Pharma’s most reliable tool: Payoffs.

It paid doctors $20 million in “consulting fees” between 2013 and 2016 to encourage “off-label” prescribing of Nuedexta to treat Alzheimer’s patients.5

If a patient was confused or moody, emotions common in dementia patients, the company encouraged doctors to diagnose PBA.

Nearly half the Nuedexta claims filed with Medicare in 2015 came from doctors who had received money or other perks from the company. One doctor cashed in to the tune of more than $500,000 in payments, travel, and meals from Avanir.

Dr. Kathryn Locatell is a geriatric physician in California. She’s appalled by Nuedexta scandal.

Recommended For You:  Glen Campbell’s Death: How Did Alzheimer’s Kill Him?

“There has to be a diagnosis for every drug prescribed, and that diagnosis has to be real . . . it cannot be simply made up by a doctor,” said Dr. Locatell.

“There is little to no medical literature to support (Nuedexta’s) use in nursing home residents—the population apparently being targeted.”

And it gets worse…

Nuedexta may be causing serious harm in the patients to which it is unnecessarily prescribed. Its reported side effects include dizziness and falls…even coma and death.6

Price Gouging for Big Profits

When Nuedexta became eligible for Medicare payments, Avenir raised the price by almost 1,300%. Before Avanir got involved with manufacturing and selling the pills, specialty pharmacists made the same generic drug for PBA patients.

The cost? $1 per pill. Now it costs $12.60 a pill. It can cost almost $10,000 for a one-year supply.7

Law enforcement has taken notice of the scandal. The Los Angeles city attorney’s office has launched a criminal investigation into Avanir.8

How to Protect Your Loved Ones

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, get a list of his or her medications. If Nuedexta is among them, ask why. Find out if there was a real diagnosis of PBA, or if in fact, the drug was prescribed to treat Alzheimer’s off label.

Ask to see the medical charts. Some people have found that the diagnosis of dementia was replaced with “PBA” so Nuedexta could be prescribed.

You can also check ProPublica.com. This free website lets you see if your loved one’s doctor is being paid by Avenir or any other pharmaceutical company.9

Editor’s Note: Decades of brain research on one natural herb is impressive to say the least… And Big Pharma knows it. That’s why they want to turn this extract into an expensive Alzheimer’s drug. But you can get it now for just pennies a day.

Get all the details on this memory miracle, HERE.


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References:
1 http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/12/health/nuedexta-nursing-homes-invs/index.html
2 https://www.nuedexta.com/what-is-pba?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_uea_9n11gIVx0SGCh3gaAmUEAAYASAAEgIodPD_BwE
3 https://www.alz.org/facts/
4 http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/12/health/nuedexta-nursing-homes-invs/index.html
5 http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/12/health/nuedexta-nursing-homes-invs/index.html
6 http://www.thealternativedaily.com/nursing-homes-pushing-this-harmful-red-pill-on-elderly/
7 http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/12/health/nuedexta-nursing-homes-invs/index.html
8 http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/19/health/government-investigation-avanir-nuedexta-invs/index.html
9 https://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/

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