A bill by state Rep. Dan Meyer (R-Eagle River) would require nursing homes to obtain written informed consent when an antipsychotic drug that has received a federal Food and Drug Administration black box warning is prescribed for a patient with a degenerative brain disorder.
The bill received a public hearing in late January. State Sen. Jim Holperin (D-Conover) is a cosponsor of the measure.
Meyer has pushed the legislation at the behest of Rhinelander resident Lisa MaKarrall, whose father died in 2008 after receiving the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. The FDA had issued a federal black box warning in 2005 that the drug placed elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis at an increased risk of death.
However, MaKarrall and her family never received the warning when Taylor Park Nursing Home in Rhinelander put him on the medication. Neither did they receive a 2003 FDA warning that Risperdal could increase risks for diabetes and stroke, nor, for that matter, she says, did they receive any other warning of Risperdal's potentially fatal risks when the facility asked the family for permission to use the drug to treat aggression.
In fact, the Informed Consent for Medication form the family signed was out of date, having been fashioned by the state Department of Health and Family Services in May 2003, almost two years before the FDA issued its black-box warning.
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Meyer Bill Requires Written Consent For 'Black-Boxed' Drugs"