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More harm than good – Why more isn’t always better with older people’s medicines

Published on 01 October 2019 12:05 PM

Age UK recently published a new policy paper on ‘polypharmacy’ – the taking of multiple medications at any one time. Many of these medicines will be vital to helping older people manage their conditions and live well for longer; and older people should not be concerned about taking large numbers of medicines if appropriately prescribed and correctly managed. Sometimes, though, those medicine regimes can be inappropriate or difficult to manage.

Age UK is calling for more work to be done on helping older people to understand more about prescriptions regimes and how to manage them safely, removing barriers to successfully administering drugs (such as providing easy-to-open packaging) and in providing better guidance on how different conditions interact with each other. Age UK estimates this could significantly improve the lives of older people and help save up to £300 million per year in wasted prescriptions.

You can read the report here:

The NHS Long Term Plan recognises this as an issue and is committed to improvements over the next few years so don’t be afraid to ask your GP for a medicines review, if you think it would be of benefit.