18th January, 2012
A study by NPS in collaboration with the University of Melbourne —published in the Medical Journal of Australia — has provided new insights into
how people use medicines on a daily basis and highlights that the use of multiple medicines in older Australians is common and more complex than previously thought.
The national survey of Australians aged 50 and over found that on the day the snapshot was taken:
- Medicines were used by the majority of Australians (87% of Australians aged 50 and over used at least one medicine)
- The use of multiple medicines was common with one third of 50-64 year olds, almost half of 65-74 year olds, and two thirds of people aged 75 and over taking five or more medicines on that day; and
- Women were more likely overall to be medicine users than men (90.3% versus 83.9%).
NPS CEO Dr Lynn Weekes says the study’s findings emphasise the importance of the availability of accurate information about medicines, and of health professionals speaking with their patients about the medicines they are taking.
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