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Determinants of Successful Aging: Developing an Integrated Research Agenda for the 21st Century |

Improving Medication Use for Older Adults: An Integrated Research Agenda

Michael D. Murray, MPH, PharmD; and Christopher M. Callahan, MD
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From Purdue University School of Pharmacy, Regenstrief Institute, and Indiana University Center for Aging Research, Indianapolis, Indiana.


Acknowledgment: The authors thank Mrs. Beverly Clark for manuscript assistance.

Grant Support: In part by grants RO1 AG19105, RO1 AG07631, and RO1 HL69399 from the National Institutes of Health.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: Michael D. Murray, MPH, PharmD, Regenstrief Institute, 1050 Wishard Boulevard RG-6, Indianapolis, IN 46202; e-mail, mmurray@regenstrief.org.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Murray and Callahan: Regenstrief Institute, 1050 Wishard Boulevard RG-6, Indianapolis, IN 46202.


Ann Intern Med. 2003;139(5_Part_2):425-429. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-139-5_Part_2-200309021-00009
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Ensuring appropriate and cost-effective drug use will be an important component of the agenda for future research on successful aging. Because they increase survival and improve quality of life, medications are among the most widely used and highly valued interventions for diseases of older adults. At least 85% of senior citizens use one prescription medication, and most use more than one (1). In 2002, more than 3 billion prescriptions were filled in the United States at a total cost of $183 billion, an increase of 11% from 2001 (2). Millions of older adults also use nonprescription medications and herbal therapies, which can increase the risk for adverse drug interactions and events. The use and costs of medications will probably continue to increase, driven by growing numbers of older adults with chronic diseases amenable to pharmacotherapy (3).

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