Nursing home antipsychotic legislation set aside

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Nursing home antipsychotic legislation set aside
Nursing home antipsychotic legislation set aside

The U.S. Senate did not approve legislation that would strengthen regulations for antipsychotic use in nursing homes, despite overwhelmingly passing a bill it was attached to on Thursday.

Last week, Sens. Herb Kohl (D-WI), Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) proposed a regulation that would have standardized protocols for obtaining informed consent before administering antipsychotics for off-label use. The legislation was proposed as an amendment to an existing Food and Drug Administration reauthorization bill (S. 3187), which was passed by the Senate in a 96-1 vote Thursday.

However, a spokesman for the Special Senate Committee on Aging told McKnight's that the nursing home regulation was not voted on and wasn't included in the manager's amendment.

He added that “the amendment was filed to help bring some needed attention to the widespread problem of the misuse of the antipsychotics among frail elders.” Going forward, he said Kohl and Grassley will “look at other legislative vehicles or stand-alone legislation.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had urged quick passage of the bill, without many amendments. Senators agreed to consider just 17 of them.

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