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Poll: Medication Management Lacking in Older Adults

Most older adults taking multiple medications have never had a comprehensive medication review

THURSDAY, Oct. 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The majority of older adults who take multiple medications have never had a comprehensive medication review (CMR), according to a report published online Oct. 7 based on the results of the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging.

Antoinette Coe, Ph.D., Pharm.D., and Karen Farris, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation in Ann Arbor, and colleagues conducted an online survey of 2,048 older adults (ages 50 to 80 years).

The researchers found that two in five older adults take two to four prescription medications, with 23 percent taking five or more medications. More than half of older adults (52 percent) take two or more nonprescription medications (e.g., over-the-counter or herbal medications or nutritional supplements). Among older adults reporting taking five or more prescription medications, one-third (32 percent) reported also taking five or more nonprescription medications or supplements. Within the cohort, the older adults (ages 65 to 80 versus 50 to 64 years) were more likely to take five or more prescription medications (30 versus 19 percent) and were also more likely to take five or more nonprescription medications (15 versus 9 percent). Among older adults taking two or more prescription medications, 24 percent had ever had a CMR. Among older adults taking five or more prescription medications, 29 percent had ever had a CMR.

“CMRs are an underutilized opportunity to help ensure medication regimens are as effective, safe, and affordable as possible,” the authors write.

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