Older Australians need to begin regular medicine reviews, which can be conducted by pharmacists, due to an increase in polypharmacy, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has reported.
“As the report states, older people are likely to be using several medicines at once, which places them at greater risk of medicine-related harm,” PSA National President Dr Chris Freeman said.
“It is therefore vital that all people taking multiple medicines have regular medicine reviews with the added ability for the pharmacist to follow up with the patient as clinically indicated.”
PSA’s ‘Medicine safety: take care’ report indicated that one in five people were suffering an adverse medicine reaction at the time they received a Home Medicines Review and 1.2 million Australians had experienced an adverse medicine event in the previous six months.
In support of this notion, NPS MedicineWise has suggested four useful tips for older Australians to stay on top of their meds:
- Keep a medicine list that states what each medicine is for, what the active ingredient is in it, the daily dose and when to take it.
- Use the MedicineWise app as it schedules reminders and keeps track of medicines.
- Call the Medicines Line. This is a free service from NPS MedicineWise providing consumers with information from health professionals.
- Ask your health professional if you have any questions!