Protest over alleged abuse of antipsychotic drugs in nursing facilities

Shirin Rajaee, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Anchor/Reporter, shirin.rajaee@keyt.com
POSTED: 07:43 AM PDT Jul 12, 2013    UPDATED: 09:27 PM PDT Jul 15, 2013 
Prescription Drugs
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

A number of people in Santa Barbara protested Thursday about abuses of antipsychotic drugs given to the elderly in nursing homes.

Some people are concerned that these drugs, such as Seroquel, Zyprexa, and Haldol-- commonly used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression are being overly prescribed.  Often times the doctor faxes in the order and doesn't even see the patient.

We spoke with one assisted living facility in Montecito, The Peppers Estate. They say they're simply following doctor's orders. They call the physician and explain the patient's condition, and simply dispense the medication prescribed.

Dr. Phil Delio released this statement, that reads in part:

"As with any medication, there is a risk of over utilization of these drugs, but as doctors we try to be conscientious and use these agents when deemed absolutely necessary."

Officials with the Peppers Day Center also told NewChannel 3 that pictures showing patients with cuts and bruises were taken before they came to their facility. Some of the protestors carried signs with the photos on them.

NewsChannel 3 Reporter Shirin Rajaee reports.