Medication Overload: America’s Other Drug Problem

Abstract: We hear a lot about how the opioid crisis is destroying families and communities. But the scope and impact of medication overload is much bigger: in the last two decades the number of older adults taking five or more medications has increased 300 percent.  There’s also been a spike in the number of serious adverse drug events (ADEs).  These alarming facts and others are outlined in a new report from the Lown Institute titled, “Medication Overload: America’s Other Drug Problem.”  Jana talks with the report’s co-authors: Judith Garber, a Health Policy and Communications Fellow at the Lown Institute; and Shannon Brownlee, Senior VP at the Institute and author of the book, “Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer.”  Judith and Shannon talk about the dangers of medication overload, what’s driving the practice, solutions that have been effective in tackling the problem and what you can do to prevent adverse drug events.