Saturday, August 13, 2011

Seniors in Canada overmedicalized, experts say

Seniors overmedicalized, experts say (Canada)Seniors in Canada are overdrugged and overtested, to the detriment of both their health and the health care system, as billions of dollars are being spent that could more productively be spent elsewhere, several experts say. An array of factors is contributing to the overmedicalization of seniors, the experts add, including a simple desire of many patients for pharmaceutical solutions to prolong life or improve sexual performance; drugging seniors to make them manageable in health facilities; overuse of preventive medication; aggressive pharmaceutical industry marketing techniques; questionable clinical guidelines; and prescriptions to offset the effects of other prescriptions. Pharmacists filled an average 74 prescriptions per year for people aged 80 or over in 2005, as compared to 14 prescriptions per year for all other age groups, according to the latest available Statistics Canada data. The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) says that in 2010, about 13% of seniors who took five or more prescription medications experienced a side effect that caused them to seek further health care services - CMAJ

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