McKnight’s reports that a Chicago psychiatrist has lost his medical license “over charges that he received kickbacks and overprescribed antipsychotic drug clozapine to nursing home residents.” According to the report, Michael Reinstein, M.D., was “at one time the nation’s No. 1 prescriber of clozapine.” The report states that Reinstein was sued by federal authorities who charged that he received kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies and submitted ‘at least 140,000 false claims to Medicare and Medicaid for antipsychotic medications he prescribed to thousands of mentally ill patients in [Chicago] area nursing homes.'”
A 2009 investigation by ProPublica and The Chicago Tribune reported that Reinstein “at one point admitted to having 75% of the residents of a 400-bed nursing home on [clozapine,]” even though “the FDA has approved the risky drug only as a last resort for schizophrenics.” According to the 2009 investigation, “three deaths have been linked to clozapine prescribed by Reinstein.”
McKnight’s also reports that the manufacturer of clozapine reached a $27.6 million dollar settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice earlier this year over the alleged kickbacks to Reinstein.
Doctors like Reinstein are only part of this problem. Many nursing home residents need several medications as part of their treatment plan. Some nursing homes have used medications to sedate residents more for the convenience of the nursing home staff than for the welfare of patients. CMS data show that in 2010, more than 17 percent of residents received daily doses of antipsychotic drugs exceeding recommended levels.
The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, including medication abuse and errors, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.