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Addressing the Polypharmacy Challenge in Older People

The Polypharmacy Challenge Blog

Polypharmacy perspectives: the challenge for general practice

This is the third post in our series hearing from different perspectives on the polypharmacy challenge. Here, Julian Treadwell questions whether the prominence of evidence based medicine in primary care has inadvertently pushed out the needs of the individual doctor and patient.

Polypharmacy is a deeply complex area of my everyday practice as a GP. My personal experience as a GP says something about how we have got to where we are now.

I graduated in the mid-1990s when Evidence Based Medicine was in its ascendancy. A core part of GP training was ‘critical reading’ and the understanding of how research evidence should inform the decisions we make with individuals. Even back then I remember having a conversation with my trainer about an imaginary future where “almost everybody would be taking a statin". And another where we wondered if a number needed to treat (NNT) of 30 for drugs to prevent osteoporotic fractures was in fact ‘good’ medicine. Read more...

Polypharmacy perspectives

Over this week we will be publishing guest blog posts from four different perspectives on polypharmacy from our project launch speakers. We asked them each to speak about why the APOLLO-MM research project and research on polypharmacy is so important.

First up, Roger Jones discusses the relationship between polypharmacy and multi-morbidity and the need for a new therapeutic research paradigm, which embraces complex disease and patient preferences, providing more useful, real-world guidance on chronic disease management.

It was a privilege to be asked to speak at the launch of the APOLLO-MM project – not the space probe, but something just as exciting. Understanding how to live with – and without – polypharmacy is a major health challenge, and this new research initiative looks set to make real progress in this crucial area.

Polypharmacy is, of course, mostly a result of the mushrooming problem of comorbidity. As we get older


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