Drug Safety Concerns for Seniors: Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use on the Rise - SpecialtyRx
August 21, 2023
Drug Safety Concerns for Seniors: Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use on the Rise

Aging Population Faces Drug Safety Concerns

An international study revealed that older adults receiving outpatient services face an increasing risk of using potentially inappropriate medications. Researchers noted that the prevalence of such medication use has surged over the past two decades, affecting the well-being of the aging population.

The meta-analysis, published in JAMA Network Open, scrutinized 94 reports encompassing 371.2 million people aged 60 or older from 17 countries. The study found that the prevalence of potentially inappropriate medication use was 36.7%, with the highest rates recorded in Africa, while North America reported a prevalence of 29%.

Using potentially inappropriate medicines resulted in increased outpatient drug fees, outpatient visits, and medical resource use, with a heightened risk of hospitalization.

The study also highlighted a distressing global trend, where the use of potentially inappropriate medications has risen by more than 40% over the past decade. As the older population grows, becoming more susceptible to various diseases, the situation necessitates urgent healthcare reforms focused on drug safety on a global scale.

Coincidentally, a report published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society discovered that more than one-third of older adults do not adhere to prescribed medication instructions. The research encompassed 5,164 participants over 65 and identified various reasons for non-adherence, with 77.4% citing poor memory, 5.4% running out of medication, and 1.2% being unable to afford their medications.

“The findings stress the urgency for healthcare reform and an increase in patient education to help ensure safe medication use in older adults,” – Ankur Dave, Compliance Officer at SpecialtyRx.