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Addressing the Polypharmacy Challenge in Older People

The Polypharmacy Challenge Blog


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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APOLLO-MM has lift off

We officially launched our research project on May 2nd 2017 with an event held at the Royal College of General Practitioners, a perfect venue given how central general practice and primary care is to our project. Thirty participants including patients, general practitioners, pharmacists, university researchers, and research and policy advisors from the voluntary sector attended.

Deborah, APOLLO-MM’s principal investigator, kicked off the meeting outlining some of the key challenges of polypharmacy, including:

  • the burden it places on patients
  • that most available clinical guidance considers diseases as singular entities rather than as a collection experienced together
  • the expense to the NHS and the environmental damage it causes when medicines are unused and wasted
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