Pol·y·phar·ma·cy (noun): the simultaneous use of multiple drugs by a single patient, for one or more conditions.
Polypharmacy is receiving increasing attention from the healthcare community and the public, as the population ages and takes a greater number of medications.
Interesting information about polypharmacy side effects…
- 46% of adults take prescription medications
- 16% of hospital admissions are related to reactions to medications
- Estimated 106,000 deaths annually from adverse drug reactions (versus 20,000 from illegal drugs)
- Over 4 billion prescriptions are filled annually
- Over $325 billion is spent on prescriptions annually, approximately 18% of healthcare costs
- Studies show that sometimes an adverse reaction to a drug goes unrecognized or misinterpreted, causing the healthcare provider to prescribe another drug, thus expanding the patient’s drug menu
- Estimated up to 50% of adults take one or more medications not medically necessary
- In older adults, ‘over medication’ is seen to increase physical/functional decline and cognitive impairment
- America’s hidden drug problem is ‘polypharmacy’; an estimated 15-25% of drug use in seniors is inappropriate or not necessary
- Medication related problems are estimated to be in top 5 causes of death in age group over 65
- Experts say patients frequently disregard and throw out drug information leaflets placed inside or stapled to their prescription bags
- Pharmacies miss half of dangerous drug combinations
The tendency is that once we start a drug, we never stop it. Individuals should do everything possible to manage their drug therapy and control medication related issues.
Rx Checker is a polypharmacy awareness tool that focuses not on critical chemical interactions, but on the possible cumulative, additive side effects of a patient’s drug menu that could negatively impact quality of life.
The goal is to increase knowledge and promote effective discussion between patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals.
Get a Sample Report View Pricing
- 1, 2 – topmastersinhealthcare.com/drugged-america, 2012
- 3 – Journal of AMA, Starfield-Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, 2000
- 4 – Kaiser Family -KKF.org 2014 / statista.com 2014 / topmastersinhealthcare.com 2012
- 5 – topmastersinhealthcare.com 2012
- 6 – American Nurse Today, Kathleen Woodruff, 2010
- 7, 8 – Clinical Consequences of Polypharmacy in Elderly HHS Public Access / 9-2013
- 9, 10 – American Society of Consultant Pharmacists ASPCA Fact Sheet 2015
- 11, 12 – Pharmacies miss half of dangerous drug combinations, 2016