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Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain is concerned about elderly people taking so many prescribed drugs and being unsure of side-effects.

The Telegraph reports that a survey by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain "shows that nearly half of over 65s are currently taking over five medicines at any one time," and "Royal Pharmaceutical Society spokesman and pharmacist, Paul Johnson says; “It’s not unusual for older people to get confused with the medicine they are taking, particularly when they are on numerous types of medication.""

The Society is seeking to promote an annual review of the medication elderly people take and says that pharmacists are ideally placed to do such reviews.

Well clearly somebody should be reviewing prescribed meds! - A cocktail of prescription drugs is fraught with risk, especially with confused older people. - You'd think our highly-paid GPs would be doing reviews as a matter of routine and culling the drugs. - Taking more than 5 prescription drugs at the same time, which each have potential/actual adverse side-effects, and causing the side-effects to be increased in number and severity when taken with other drugs... This seems a recipe for harm for most of the patients taking them, though clearly it is of great benefit to the drug manufacturers.

What motivates multiple drug prescribing like this? I consider it irresponsible.