Medication overload and older Americans


Every day, 750 older Americans are hospitalized due to serious side effects from one more medications. The Lown Institute report Eliminating Medication Overload: A National Action Plan recommends a national strategy to help reduce medication-related harm that results in $62 billion annually on unnecessary hospitalizations and even premature death and builds on the findings from a 2019 report: Medication Overload: America’s Other Drug Problem.  More than 40 percent of older Americans regularly take 5 or more prescription drugs, and nearly 20 percent take more than 10 medications. When over-the-counter meds are included, a full two-thirds of older adults take 5 or more medications.  See: 2016: Polypharmacy—America’s other drug problem and Accelerating Progress in Prescription Medicine Adherence: The Adherence Action Agenda – A National Action Plan to Address America’s “Other Drug Problem” (2013) 

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