Medicare Part D was created to give seniors in California and across the nation the opportunity to purchase prescription medications at affordable prices. While the program has succeeded at making drugs for the elderly more accessible, an investigation of recently released documents has highlighted some irregularities in the prescribing patterns of several Medicare physicians. This has in turn led some to call for greater oversight of Medicare Part D from the federal government.
Many Americans are relying on elder care provided by physicians at nursing homes or assisted living facilities, but in some cases, these physicians are routinely prescribing drugs that have been shown to cause adverse reactions in the elderly. There are also documented cases of physicians prescribing drugs originally approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat one condition for completely different, "off-label" conditions. Examples cited in the investigation include prescribing anti-psychotic drugs to treat dementia in the elderly and prescribing Alzheimer's drugs to treat autism or other cognitive disabilities.