Friday, September 15, 2006

Seniors face much higher risk from drug mistakes (click)

Seniors face much higher risk from drug mistakes - Sep 13, 2006: "Patients over 65, who often have chronic conditions and see several doctors, had a drug error rate nearly seven times greater than those under 65, according to an analysis released Wednesday. The review was done by Medco Health Solutions Inc., one of the nation's largest prescription benefit managers.
Experts like Dr. Richard London in Milwaukee say the findings show that 'people with multiple health problems need to have a physician who is the quarterback.'
In the study, errors were flagged when a patient was prescribed a drug that was incompatible with medicines already being taken; when a drug could exacerbate another medical condition; or when an incorrect dosage was prescribed, said Dr. Glen Stettin, a Medco senior vice president.
'Clearly, the more medications you take, the more potential there is for them interacting with each other,' Stettin said. 'With more physicians providing care to patients, more prescriptions are being written -- however, there is clearly a communication breakdown between prescribers.'"

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