An Age UK report investigates the potential harms of over-prescribing medicines for older people. Older persons often remain on too many prescribed medicines, putting them at risk of side-effects, potentially resulting in falls and other forms of serious harm. It is estimated that two million older people in England are at risk of side-effects from unsuitable multiple medications.
‘Multiple medicines’ side-effect risk for over-65s. London: BBC Health News, August 22nd 2019.
This relates to:
Petchey, L. [and] Gentry, T. (2019). More harm than good: why more isn’t always better with older people’s medicines. London: Age UK, August 2019.
“In England, more than one in 10 people aged over 65 take at least eight different prescribed medications each week. This increases to nearly one in four people aged over 85. In 2017/18, the NHS spent more on prescription medicines than ever before – £18.2 billion, 40 per cent more than was spent in 2010/11. More than 60% of the prescriptions made in the community are for people aged over 60. It is estimated that up to 50 per cent of all medicines for long term conditions are not taken as intended and around one in five prescriptions for older people living at home may be inappropriate”. (p.3).
Detection of Potentially Inappropriate Prescribing in Older People With Dementia
A recent systematic review investigates differences between various tools and criteria used to identify potentially inappropriate prescribing in older people with dementia, and attempts to assess the estimated prevalence of this broad category of potentially unsuitable prescribing.
“ …despite long standing awareness of inappropriate prescribing, prevalence of PIP remains high for both older people in general and older people with dementia in particular”. (p.477).
Hukins, D. Macleod, U. [and] Boland, JW. (2019). Identifying potentially inappropriate prescribing in older people with dementia: a systematic review. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. April 2019; Vol.75(4): pp.467-481.
Prescription Drugs Dependence Review by Public Health England
Possibly of indirectly related interest:
Triggle, N. (2019). Too many hooked on prescription drugs – health chiefs. London: BBC Health News, September 10th 2019.
Further coverage of this Public Health England review:
1 in 4 people take ‘addictive’ medicines, finds review. London: NHS Digital Behind the Headlines, September 10th 2019.
This relates to:
Taylor, S. Annand, F. [and] Burkinshaw, P. [et al] (2019). Dependence and withdrawal associated with some prescribed medicines: an evidence review. London: Public Health England, September 10th 2019.
There is a summary document, a guide for patients and a spreadsheet of prescribing data for each clinical commissioning group in England based on PHE’s analysis of NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) data in the Prescribed Medicines Review.
Marsden, J. White, M. [and] Annand, F. [et al] (2019). Medicines associated with dependence or withdrawal: a mixed-methods public health review and national database study in England. Lancet Psychiatry. October 3rd 2019. [Epub ahead of print].
Shoptaw, S. Nguyen, DB. [and] Giang, LM. (2019). Prescribing in primary care: art versus algorithm. Lancet Psychiatry. October 3rd 2019. [Epub ahead of print].