Saturday, March 20, 2010

Nearly two-thirds of seniors using five or more types of prescription drugs (Canada)

Nearly two-thirds of seniors using five or more types of prescription drugs (Canada)Almost two-thirds (62%) of Canadians age 65 and older living in the community in six provinces are using five or more classes of prescription drugs, according to a study released today by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. The study, Drug Use Among Seniors on Public Drug Programs in Canada, 2002 to 2008, examined public drug claims for more than one million Canadian seniors in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The study found that in 2008, slightly more than one in five (21%) of these seniors were using 10 or more types of prescription drugs, and just more than 1 in 20 (6%) were using 15 or more different classes of drugs. "Public-sector spending on prescribed drugs in Canada reached an estimated $11.4 billion in 2009, and we know that seniors account for a large portion of these expenditures," says Jean-Marie Berthelot, Vice President, Programs, CIHI. "With the aging of Canada's population, it is important to understand which drugs are being used most often by seniors and which account for the highest proportions of public drug program expenditure. This information helps to inform decisions about the future planning and delivery of public drug programs." Older seniors were more likely to be multiple-drug users, with about one-third (29%) of seniors age 85 and older submitting claims for 10 or more types of drugs in 2008, compared to fewer than one in five (17%) seniors age 65 to 74

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