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Next time you go to a nursing home and are confronted with a sea of grey heads zonked out and near immobile, think of this name: risperidone, the Johnson & Johnson creation that became the go-to drug for nursing home administrators.

The story of how risperidone, designed originally for schizophrenia, became widely used as a chemical restraint is a remarkable demonstration of the power of one drug company.

It is also the story of how commercial imperatives overrode the objections of medical experts as risperidone and its imitators became central to the aged care business model struggling to deal with increasing rates of dementia.