Dr. Irving Gomolin, Chief, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology at Stony Brook University proposed a much-needed policy to long term care facilities concerning alternative drug therapies (ADT). Alternative drug therapies comprise substances for oral ingestion, enteral administration, and inhalation, topical or nasal application. Any substance that with purported health benefits is considered to be an ADT Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Moreover, the intended indication for the ADT has not been recommended by the FDA ADT’s are commonly available for purchase without a prescription and is available at supermarkets, grocery stores and general nutrition stores. Due to the facilities responsibility to protect and balance the need for the patient to be empowered “to exercise their rights”, this article presents a rationale to adopt new procedures.
Herbal drug therapies have gained significant popularity in the past ten years. In the geriatric community, geriatricians and gerontologists have been challenged on how to incorporate this treatment regimen. Dr. Gomolin’s set of guidelines establish a framework that assists long term care facility medical directors, administrator and directors of nursing with common questions with ADT. For example, during the intake process, making the applicant or/designated care-giver aware of the facility’s policy on ADT utilization before admission is crucial. Long term care applicants, who request ADT, can be considered upon primary care physician consultation. In addition, this framework stresses the importance of the ethical and professional duty component that is consistent with respective state and federal guidelines.
The Alternative Drug Therapy Policy Summary and Request and Release of Liability for Alternative Drug Therapy are available at http://www.annalsoflongtermcare.com/content/alternative-drug-therapies-ltc-facilities-a-guide-definition-policies-and-procedures.
Gomolin, J. (2010). Alternative Drug Therapies in LTC Facilities: A Guide to Definition, Policies and Procedures. Annals of Long-Term Care; 18 (3): 23-27.
National Institute of Heath. What is complementary and alternative medicine? National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Website. Retrieved from http://www.nccam.nci.nih.gov/health/whatiscam on March 30 2010.