Tackling our “drive to prescribe”

Harm from multiple medication use is a serious issue for older adults; every day 750 older people in the US are hospitalized for an adverse drug event. That’s why members of the Lown Institute Working Group on Medication Overload were so excited to give a presentation at the American Society on Aging virtual conference.

At the presentation, patient advocate Gayle Esposito and Lown health policy fellow Judith Garber explained the scope, harm, and main drivers of medication overload; shared stories about their personal experiences with medication overload; described how prescription checkups can lead to deprescribing; and touched on challenges and opportunities for deprescribing during Covid-19.

Among the attendees, the vast majority had experienced medication overload, or knew a loved one or patient who had experienced it. Many of the audience members were social workers, and they shared examples of how they help clients avoid adverse drug events. The presenters and audience engaged in a discussion on how to navigate uncomfortable conversations with patients or clinicians, which types of drugs to especially watch out for, and how pharmacists can be an integral part of deprescribing.

In case you missed it, you can view the webinar presentation on the American Society on Aging website. Continuing education credit for the session is also available.