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Use of 2015 Beers Criteria Medications by Older Medicare Beneficiaries

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OBJECTIVE: To examine the prevalence of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) in community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries based on the updated 2015 American Geriatrics Society Beers criteria.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SETTING: Thirteen mobile Medicare clinics were held throughout Northern and Central California during the fall of 2015.

PATIENTS, PARTICIPANTS: Noninstitutionalized Medicare beneficiaries 65 years of age and older taking one or more medications.

INTERVENTIONS: Pharmacy students under direct supervision of licensed pharmacists performed medication therapy management (MTM). Drug and disease state data were collected and used to identify PIMs based on the 2015 Beers criteria.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number of beneficiaries who are taking a PIM, have a potential drug-drug or drug-disease interaction, and common factors associated with receiving a PIM.

RESULTS: MTM services were provided to 703 beneficiaries 65 years of age or older taking 1 or more medications. In total, 204 (29%) beneficiaries were taking 1 or more PIM. Drug-drug interactions were found in 54 beneficiaries, and 12 beneficiaries were found to have a significant drug-disease interaction. PIM prescribing was associated with certain chronic conditions (e.g., pain and insomnia). The prevalence of PIM use was significantly higher in women compared with men, whites compared with non-whites, and low-income beneficiaries compared with high income.

CONCLUSION: Prescribers and pharmacists should work in concert to minimize PIM use in older adults. Practitioners knowledgeable about the updated 2015 Beers criteria may monitor drug use more closely, hopefully minimizing potentially harmful drug and/or disease-state problems, and preventing avoidable health-related sequelae.
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Keywords: BEERS CRITERIA; ELDERLY; MEDICARE; MEDICATION THERAPY MANAGEMENT; PHARMACISTS; POTENTIALLY INAPPROPRIATE MEDICATIONS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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  • The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. It is dedicated exclusively to the medication needs of the elderly in all settings, including adult day care, ambulatory care, assisted living, community, hospice, and nursing facilities. This award-winning journal is a member benefit of ASCP. Individuals who are not members and wish to receive The Consultant Pharmacist® will want to consider joining ASCP.
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