I am commenting on the article in the NY Times referring to the findings of an IOM report in which medication-related injuries are on the rise as measured by an annual increase to 1.9million in 2008 from 1.2million in 2004. This trend directly correlates with CDC data that shows a trend of increasing medication use for those over 65, with 37 percent of those now taking at least 5 medications. The number of medications you take directly correlates with your risk of experiencing a medication-related injury. Segue to the concept that many older adults, especially those in their 80′s and 90′s, function at a higher level with less cognitive impairment when taking FEWER medications, it appears as if we have a war on our hands. Sounds as if we need Nancy Reagan back, this time to tell older adults, “Just say no to drugs!”
The findings from Doron Garfinkel, MD & Derelie Mangin, MBChB in their study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in October 2010, Feasibility Study of a Systematic Approach for Discontinuation of Multiple Medications in Older Adults, is a clear reminder that we need to employ established criteria that help us minimize medication use in the older adult population in order to maintain function and quality of life.