Veteranclaims’s Blog

October 14, 2009

VA Not Diagnosing 60% of Time, Using Off-label Practices

Filed under: Uncategorized — veteranclaims @ 12:51 am

The question I have is how this will affect veterans when they apply for disability benefits. I mean you were prescribed drugs but no diagnosis that corresponds for that drug, no diagnosis so no disability, so no disability rating.

This needs to be addressed by the Veterans being affected!

Full Article at: Off-Label Use of Psychiatric Medications Common for Veterans
October 13, 2009 | By Jennifer Gibson

About: Jennifer Gibson, PharmD, is a practicing clinical pharmacist and freelance medical writer and editor with experience in researching and preparing scientific publications, developing public relations materials, creating educational resources and presentations, and editing technical manuscripts. Her clients include academic research institutions, international authors, pharmaceutical companies, professional organizations, and public advocacy groups.

“Men and women of the United States military are suffering from mental illnesses at an increasing rate. Among service members involved in the on-going conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, recent research found that nearly two-thirds displayed signs or symptoms of mental illness, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, or substance or alcohol abuse. Treating veterans with mental illness is an important task of the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system, but a new study reports that off-label use of psychiatric medications is near 60%, prompting concerns about the appropriate use of medication and optimal provision of mental health services.

The new study, recently published in Psychiatric Services, reports that among the nearly 300,000 veterans who received a prescription for an antipsychotic medication in 2007, more than 60% had no record of a diagnosis for which the drug was approved. Most of the drugs carried an indication for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Most (more than 40%) of the patients had a diagnosis of PTSD. Other patients receiving off-label antipsychotics had diagnoses of major or minor depression, anxiety disorder, or alcohol or drug use or dependence. Quetiapine and risperidone were the two most frequently prescribed off-label drugs.”

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