Panelists discuss polypharmacy and take a look at the current medication culture of the elderly.
Guests: Todd Semla, PharmD, Co-Chair, Beers Criteria Update Panel; Dr. Thomas Finucane, Professor, Geriatric Medicine, Johns Hopkins University; Dr. Barbara Paris, Director, Geriatrics, Maimonides Medical Center. Polypharmacy, the act of taking various different medications by a single person, has become the rule rather than the exception for older Americans. Close to ninety percent of those aged sixty and over are taking at least one prescription, with more than a third taking five or more. Throw into the mix the use of over-the-counter medications, and it could be a recipe for disaster. The use of different doctors, and a lack of communication, could lead to negative adverse effects, including death. On this episode of Inside E Street, we look at the current medication culture of the elderly, and whether or not we are taking, "Too Many Meds." We are joined for a panel discussion by Todd Semla, author of the Beers Criteria List, which looks at medicine interactions, and by Dr. Thomas Finucane, a professor of geriatric medicine at Johns Hopkins University. Also joining us on this episode is Dr. Barbara Paris, from the Maimonides Medical Center. Dr. Paris stresses the importance of open communication between patients and their doctors, imploring all patients to let their primary care physician know exactly which medicines they are taking.