In 2006, nearly 20% of adults 65 years or older in the United States took at least 10 medications, nearly 60% took 5 or more medications, and over 90% took at least 1 medication a week.1 In 2007, total Medicare spending on outpatient prescription drugs (part D) increased 17.5% to $47.6 billion.2 The number of drugs used by older adults will likely further increase owing to an aging population, the development of new prescription medications, the transition of prescription medications to over-the-counter availability, and the increasing use of drugs for chemoprevention.
Budnitz DS. Agreement Between Drugs-to-Avoid Criteria and Expert Assessments of Problematic Prescribing—Invited Commentary. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(14):1332-1334. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.180