Bottle of spilling medicine

Poll shows only 29% of adults who take five or more prescription drugs have had a comprehensive medication review.

A new survey from the University of Michigan indicates that older adults do not check with a pharmacist to look for possible interactions in their prescription and over the counter medications and supplements. The study also shows do not they check for potential cost savings by switching to lower-cost options.

The study examines responses from a national survey of more than 2,000 adults aged 50-80 years. Karen B. Farris, PhD, MPA, a professor of clinical pharmacy, said: “Since older adults with multiple chronic illnesses and medications, high medication costs, and Part D Medicare coverage may qualify for a covered medication review, and their health plans are graded publicly on how many qualified participants receive a review, our finding that so many are unaware of the option is surprising.” Antoinette B. Coe, PharmD, PhD, an assistant professor of clinical pharmacy, added: “These results show the importance of continuing efforts by physicians, pharmacists, other healthcare providers, insurers and policymakers to help older adults understand the importance of medication reviews.”

Medicare Part D plans offer free comprehensive medication reviews for beneficiaries meeting eligibility criteria. This benefit is underutilized. The survey shows 85% of Medicare Part D enrollees who had not had a medication review didn’t know they could be eligible for one.