National Pensioners Federation is member of the Canadian Deprescribing Network.
During our February 24, 2016 monthly executive conference call which included the leadership of our provincial affiliate organizations we discussed some statistics around the issue.
Among retirement-aged older men and women in Canada:
> 66% take five drugs or more,
> 27% take 10 drugs or more,
> Over age 85, 39% take 10 drugs or more,
> 1-in-4 of these medicines is potentially harmful and unnecessary.
Unnecessary hospitalizations result from taking too many medicines. Older women bear the brunt of over-prescription.
Everyone agreed that this was an important issue which needed to be addressed. Long term care facilities can manifest this issue by over prescribing medication to control behaviour.
We can all make a difference personally and socially by discussing deprescribing and the positive changes with family, friends, care providers, physicians, advocacy groups we belong to and the provincial and federal politicians which represent us.
The goal of the Canadian Deprescribing Network is to cut inappropriate prescriptions for seniors by 50 per cent by 2020.