The 'CBS Evening News' Investigates Overmedication in VA Hospitals

Categories: Press Releases

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September 19th, 2013

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via press release:

CBS NEWS NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT JIM AXELROD FINDS THAT RETURNING VETERANS ARE DYING FROM OVER MEDICATION IN VA HOSPITALS – TONIGHT ON THE “CBS EVENING NEWS WITH SCOTT PELLEY” (6:30-7:00 PM, ET)

 

AXELROD INTERVIEWS A DOCTOR WHO HAS BECOME A FEDERAL WHISTLEBLOWER AND SPEAKS WITH THE WIDOW OF A SERVICE MEMBER WHO DIED FROM THE COMBINED EFFECTS OF HIS MEDICATIONS

 

            CBS News National Correspondent Jim Axelrod finds that returning veterans are dying from over medication in VA hospitals. Axelrod’s investigative report will be broadcast tonight, Sept. 19 on the CBS EVENING NEWS WITH SCOTT PELLEY (6:30-7:00 PM, ET) on the CBS Television Network.

 

CBS News obtained Veterans Affairs data showing the number of prescriptions written by VA doctors and nurse practitioners during the past 11 years. The number of patients treated by the VA is up 29 percent, but narcotics prescriptions are up 259 percent. A dozen VA physicians who have worked at 15 VA medical centers told CBS News that they have felt pressured by administrators to prescribe narcotics and that patients are not being properly monitored.

 

CBS News also gathered data from five of the states with the most veterans and found that they are dying of accidental narcotic overdoses at a 33 percent higher rate than non-Veterans. In tonight’s report, Axelrod speaks with Dr. Phyllis Hollenbeck, who has become a federal whistleblower, and another VA physician who asked to remain anonymous.

 

Axelrod also speaks with Heather McDonald, whose husband, Scott, a 35-year-old Army Specialist, died of overmedication after he returned home with chronic back pain from five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Patricia Shevlin is the Executive Producer of the CBS EVENING NEWS WITH SCOTT PELLEY.

 

 
  • mark

    As a Retired disabled USAF veteran who served in Desert storm and Korea in 94, not to mention may other locations over twenty years. I have numerous disabilities. The worst of which is A traumatic brain injury that has damaged my frontal left lobe of my brain. I have been getting treatment from the VA for 14 years now. From the get go I was actively involved in my care and the medications I took. I read the interactions and side effects of everything and questioned both doctors and pharmacists. I do the same for my wife who is a retired veteran also. Veterans and their families need to check and question every medication line of treatment and research them on line to be informed. There are many medications they tried on me and I refused to take because of interactions or side effects. Yes they are doctors but they are only human and cannot read minds or feel the effects of the medications they prescribe to people. we as the patients have to say no more, or it is not working, I don’t feel right with this drug, these are the issues they are causing. Our families and friends need to step up and say something and not stand by in silence. our health is our responsibility. If you love someone get directly involved in their care. Have them make it known to their doctors you are there in their best interest to ask the questions and say no when they can’t. It has taken many years to get to a point where my medications are helping me and being prescribed just to see if they help. Everyone is different and their medical needs are different too!

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