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Invited Commentary
January 11, 2010

Prescribing Optimal Drug Therapy for Older People: Sending the Right Message: Comment on “Impact of FDA Black Box Advisory on Antipsychotic Medication Use”

Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(1):103-106. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.473

Older people have a great deal of benefit to gain from appropriate drug therapy and some proven therapies are underused in elderly patients.1 The effect of aging on metabolism and excretion, concurrent use of multiple medications, higher incidence of multiple chronic conditions, and frailty place older people at increased risk of developing serious adverse events. Getting the best evidence possible on the risks and benefits of prescription drug therapy used by older people and then making that evidence available to prescribers is essential to ensure that these older individuals receive the highest quality of care. The current process for producing and using evidence on the risk and benefits of drug therapy in older people is complex and involves many different stakeholders.