www.polypharmacy.org.uk

Apollo logo

Addressing the Polypharmacy Challenge in Older People

The Polypharmacy Challenge Blog


Polypharrmacy and multimorbidity: What’s in the journals Jan-Mar 2017?

Here’s a selection of articles of relevance to the APOLLO-MM project published in early 2017.

A Themed Journal Issue on Deprescribing. European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, January 2017 Vol 24, issue 1
January’s issue of European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy has a themed issue on deprescribing, with an editorial, a number of articles and opinion pieces, some of which are free to access. The aim of the themed issue is to give an introduction to the deprescribing debate, the challenges that surround depescribing and some of the tools available to help with deprescribing. The guest editors, Nina Barnett (who spoke at the APOLLO-MM launch event ) and Barry Jubraj, have also sought to broaden the remit within which deprescribing is discussed. So, there are articles on the patient view of deprescribing, the legal perspective, collaborative decision-making between patients and healthcare professionals, plus the challenges of deprescribing in special populations: older people with multimorbidity, patients in care homes, paediatrics, and people with learning disabilities.
Read more...

Tackling Polypharmacy and Multimorbidity: Reflections on SAPC 2017

I have just returned from the annual scientific meeting of the Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC), which was held at Warwick University last week. The central concerns of the APOLLO-MM project - multimorbidity and polypharmacy – featured prominently in this year’s meeting. This may seem unsurprising given that care of patients with multimorbidity is very much the ‘norm’ for the generalist medical practitioner. But it was encouraging to see an increasing emphasis on how to account for the complexity of multimorbidity in research contexts, and there is certainly a growing army of researchers trying to tackle ‘inappropriate’ polypharmacy.

One thing that became clear as I moved from presentation to presentation about polypharmacy is just how ‘baggy’ some of our definitions are. Researchers use a range of cut-off points to define polypharmacy (4+, 5+, 10+, 15+ medicines). They do so whilst acknowledging that definitions based on numbers alone are crude and inadequate, as these measures conceal crucial issues such as: the poor alignment between numbers of drugs prescribed, dispensed and consumed; the contribution of non-prescribed medicines to the medicines count; and the relative complexity of different medicines regimens to the individual patient. The terms ‘appropriate’ and ‘inappropriate’ which are frequent qualifiers of the ‘polypharmacy’ concept are widely used but beg further questions such as ‘appropriate to whom?’ and “appropriate for what purpose or with what in mind?” and cause us to stop and wonder how fixed and certain are these notions of appropriateness.
Read more...

Show more posts

Subscribe to receive our latest blog post

* indicates required
Queen Mary University of London logo
NIHR stamps without NHS logo
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry Queen Mary University of London logo