The makers of Nuedexta have found themselves in the middle of a far-reaching scandal that could have ties to federal money. According to an in-depth pharmaceutical investigation by CNN, the pill is treating conditions well beyond its FDA approved purpose; their investigation alleges that the drug makers are “paying off” doctors to push the pill on the elderly and the government is picking up the tab. Avanir created Nuedexta to treat a rare condition called pseudobulbar affect, or PBA, that only impacts 1% of the U.S. population. Nuedexta is only approved to treat pseudobulbar affect (PBA), a rare condition marked by inappropriate outbursts that occurs secondary to other neurological illnesses or injuries, such as multiple sclerosis.Yet, somehow, Nuedexta is the company’s number one money maker. The CNN investigators, Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken found that the company is “aggressively” targeting nursing homes and their personnel are prescribing the drug unnecessarily.The City Attorney for Los Angeles has launched a new investigation, following broadcast of a CNN report detailing the rising use of Nuedexta among elderly nursing home patients, especially in Southern California.
According to the cable network, Mark Feuer is seeking information and tips from the public to determine if California-based Avanir Pharmaceuticals broke any laws in aggressively marketing Nuedexta to treat elderly people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.