Thursday, October 8, 2009

Government under pressure to publish antipsychotic review

10 leading dementia organizations, including the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, are demanding that the government publishes its long-delayed review into the widespread misuse of antipsychotic – or ‘chemical cosh’ – drugs.

Earlier this year, an Alzheimer’s Research Trust-funded study published in Lancet Neurology found that antipsychotic drugs double risk of death for many patients if used over a three year period. As many as 100,000 people with dementia are routinely prescribed antipsychotics in UK care homes. This could mean 23,500 people dying prematurely, according to a 2008 report by Paul Burstow MP.

The issue will be discussed by Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, at a Conservative Party Conference fringe event on dementia research with Shadow Health Minister Stephen O’Brien MP, and the author of the Lancet Neurology study Prof Clive Ballard of King’s College London and Alzheimer’s Society (‘Dementia Decade: a cure by 2020?’, Wednesday, 12.45, Marquee 2, MICC, Manchester).

Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, said:

"While the Department of Health prevaricates, thousands of people are being put at risk through the misuse of antipsychotics. After so many delays, the government must take swift and decisive action."


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