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Minimizing drug misuse among elders: a proposal.
  • Published Date:
    1987 Jan-Feb
  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 102(1):86-90
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.08 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
  • Description:
    This proposal is aimed at reducing the risk of adverse drug interactions that may occur when over-the-counter (OTC) preparations are taken in conjunction with prescription drugs in an unsupervised regimen. Such polymedicating is practiced widely among the elderly. A pilot program would be implemented over 12 months at three drugstores of a major retail chain. A barcode-based computer system would be used to identify potential adverse drug interactions for elderly customers. All volunteers admitted to the study, controls and subjects, would agree to buy all their medications, prescriptions and OTC, at the participating pharmacies. In return, the volunteers would receive discounts of 25 percent on prescription and OTC drugs and 10 percent on vitamins. Study subjects (N = 375) would carry barcoded identification (BID) cards that would activate the computerized program to assess each purchase for compatibility with their other medications; controls (N = 375) would carry "dummy" BID cards that would prompt the computer to approve all drug purchases. A final comparison of the subjects with the controls, as well as with a sample of elderly residents selected randomly from the community, would determine whether such a computerized, commercially based drug use review system could reduce the potential for adverse interactions between OTC and prescription drugs among the elderly.

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