Grassley says report on use of psychotropic drugs in nursing homes is disturbing

DES MOINES — Around eight in ten nursing home residents on Medicare received psychotropic drugs during the past decade, according to a watchdog report from U.S. Health and Human Services that was requested by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley.

He says he’s “very disturbed” by the report. “It shows that just an overwhelming number of people in nursing homes are on psychotropic drugs,” Grassley says, “and I don’t think that it’s justified and I think that there’s overuse of it.”

The report covered the years between 2011 and 2019. Grassley says nursing home residents deserve to be “treated with dignity” and their loved ones ought to have the confidence that nursing homes are appropriately prescribing medicines.  “If it was given to people because they just wanted to keep people quiet,” Grassley says, “it seems to me an inhumane thing to do.”

Grassley says the Inspector General report “confirms many of our fears” that serious medications are being administered “without appropriate diagnoses or oversight.” He says the report makes it clear that more needs to be done to protect nursing home residents.