Kaiser Health News (8/15) reports a growing number of elderly patients are being prescribed too many medications to treat chronic illnesses, “raising their chances of dangerous drug interactions and serious side effects.”
Furthermore, the piece points out that different drugs are often prescribed by different physicians, “who don’t communicate with each other,” further complicating the situation. Data from the Institute of Medicine show that in 2006, “at least 400,000 preventable ‘adverse drug events’ occur[ed]… in American hospitals.”
Similarly, a 2013 study found that nearly 20 percent of patients discharged from hospitals “had prescription-related medical complications during their first 45 days at home.”
— “‘America’s other drug problem’: Giving the elderly too many prescriptions,” Anna Gorman, Washington Post, August 15, 2016.