The elderly experience more adverse drug reactions than younger people, and these reactions may be attributed both to the physiological effects of aging as well as the number and types of drugs taken. Because of these concerns, the Research and Education Foundation of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists established the Geriatric Drug Therapy Research Institute.
The elderly spend more than $3 billion a year on prescription and nonprescription drugs. The average elderly person receives 1 3 prescriptions for medication a year. However, few medical schools require coursework in geriatrics for graduation.
Drug interactions, over-prescribing, and prolonged usage present a serious potential for functional impairment and disability. The Institute will focus on developing technical tools for physicians and other health-care professionals to improve the treatment and care of geriatric patients. It will also provide multidisciplinary collaborative research, education, objective and empirically based information, and consultation on quality of life and quality of care issues.
For more information, contact Joanne Kaldy, The Research and Education Foundation of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, 2300 Ninth Street South, Arlington, VA 22204; 703-920-8492.