Patient Safety in the News
One In Five Seniors Prescribed An Inappropriate Medication, Study Finds
American Hospital Association (AHA) News
August 9, 2004
Seniors often are prescribed potentially inappropriate medications, according to a study published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study's authors analyzed outpatient prescription claims of a large, national pharmaceutical benefit manager and found that, of 765,423 patients 65 or older who filled a prescription in 1999, more than one in five (21.2%) filled a prescription for a drug on the "Beers list" of medications that should be avoided in the elderly in any dose or frequency. Of those, 44% filled a prescription for a potentially harmful medication, and 41% filled a prescription for a psychotropic drug, most commonly an antidepressant. The study's authors said their findings, which are consistent with earlier studies, "should serve as a reminder to monitor" potentially inappropriate medications. They noted, however, that such lists "may be too rigid and cannot take into account all factors that define individualized high-quality care," and that a physician may determine that the benefits of a proscribed drug outweigh its risks for a particular patient.
Pre-surgery 'time outs': Reviews let patients help ensure medical procedures are done right
Deseret Morning News
June 24, 2004