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Governor Stitt Signs Bill To Crack Down On Antipsychotic Drugs In Nursing Homes

A new law cracks down on giving antipsychotic drugs to patients in nursing homes in Oklahoma.

Senate Bill 142, signed by Governor Kevin Stitt last week, requires informed consent for nursing home patients and their families regarding the use of powerful antipsychotic drugs.

The bill’s author, Senator Stephanie Bice, says Oklahoma ranks as the worst state in the nation when it comes to the use of antipsychotics on nursing home patients with no psychiatric diagnosis.

“What I was surprised to know when I started researching this topic over the interim is that 20% of Oklahoma nursing home patients are being prescribed an anti-psychotic that don’t have a clinical diagnosis, and this bill attempts to address that.”

The Oklahoma City Republican says elderly patients inappropriately prescribed this drugs run the risk of over-sedation falls, accelerated cognitive decline, and increased risk of stroke and pneumonia.

Under the new law, a prescribing clinician would examine and diagnose the nursing home patient before an antipsychotic could be given.

The new law takes effect November 1.

Copyright 2019 KOSU