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The world’s other drug problem

Adverse drug events are now a leading cause of hospitalization, disability, and death, all at great human and financial cost.

Adverse drug reactions have been estimated as the fourth leading cause of death in US hospitals and are responsible for more than 700,000 hospital visits each year. At least 400,000 preventable adverse drug events occur each year in US hospitals alone, pushing health care costs up by about $3.5 billion annually.

Seniors are particularly vulnerable, as aging affects our ability to process medications and our resistance to adverse effects. Seniors are likely to be on multiple medications for various chronic conditions putting them most at risk — 40% of US adults aged 65 years and over take five or more prescription medications.

Delivering effective care — ask yourself:

Do you have enough time during a patient consultation to do more than a “brown bag” ad hoc medication review?

Wouldn’t it be great if your patients could document ALL of their meds (including OTCs and herbals), as well as their concerns, goals, and priorities BEFORE you meet?

 Have you ever tried to quickly find meaningful drug information from an 80-page drug monograph?

Do you have the right tools to help you:

    • Address polypharmacy in a way that minimizes the risks and optimizes benefits for individual patients?
    • Develop systematic medication plans to implement, adjust, track, monitor, and record changes to medications?
    • Manage the discontinuation of specific medications (e.g., rate of taper, side effects to monitor for)?
    • Capture input from your patients about their preferences, lifestyle priorities, and suspected adverse drug effects?
    • Integrate input from other health care providers, such as pharmacists?
    • Communicate and explain information to patients?