Alemayehu Mekonnen

Potentially inappropriate prescribing is significantly associated with a range of health-related and system-related outcomes, according to a recent meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Such outcomes include functional decline, falls and hospital admissions due to drug-related side effects, they said.

The researchers investigated potentially inappropriate medication prescribing and possible subsequent medication-related harm for older adults. They defined “inappropriate medications” as drugs that may not produce benefits relative to harm. The authors’ working definition of “inappropriate prescribing” referred to not prescribing medications that are recommended.

“Several decision support tools for quality prescribing are available; however, our analysis highlights that medication-related harm due to inappropriate prescribing remains problematic,” said lead author Alemayehu Mekonnen, Ph.D., of Deakin University in Australia. “A comprehensive assessment of medication use, especially during care transitions such as at hospital discharge, is an important task to reduce medication-related harm and associated healthcare costs.”