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New AARP Initiative Encourages Community Members to Help Others Better Manage Their Prescriptions
Date:3/12/2009

Rx Snapshot tracks drugs and helps older Americans talk with their health care professionals about managing their meds

WASHINGTON, March 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP today released Rx Snapshot, a free, online tool that anyone can use to help older family members, friends or neighbors manage their medications safely and effectively.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070209/NYF043LOGO)

The need is clear: 65 percent of Americans over 65 are using one or more inappropriate medications, and 57 percent are taking medications that are ineffective, duplicative or unneeded (1).

An initiative of Create the Good, a network of independent volunteers active in neighborhoods across the country, Rx Snapshot is an easy way to help older Americans record the medications they are taking and talk with their health care professional about how they might better manage their meds. The free resource is available at www.AARP.org/CreateTheGood.

"Using prescriptions wisely and effectively is incredibly important to help people of all ages who take medications stay well," said Jennie Chin Hansen, RN and AARP president. "Prescription drug costs are soaring and nearly a quarter of all older Americans skip doses of medicine because of the cost. Helping a loved one or a neighbor complete their Rx Snapshot gives them the opportunity to talk with their health care professional about what they're taking, which can minimize risk of negative interactions and maybe even save them a little money."

AARP is encouraging people to visit www.AARP.org/CreateTheGood to download the Rx Snapshot and either call older relatives and loved ones or organize a community group to help neighbors fill out the one-page sheet. The Rx Snapshot toolkit gives older Americans:

  • A way to keep updated records of their medications
  • Tips to having a conversation with their health care provider about the risks and benefits of their prescriptions
  • The opportunity to consider generics as money-saving alternatives

Information on where to volunteer or to get local community groups involved can be found at www.AARP.org/CreateTheGood.

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 34.5 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

(1) Of older patients studied, 65% were using one or more inappropriate medication; 37% were taking medications on the Beers drugs-to-avoid-list; 57% were taking medication deemed ineffective, not indicated or duplicative; 64% had under-use of medication; and, 42% had inappropriate use and underuse. Further, the higher the number of drugs, the higher the risk of inappropriate medications. Source: Steinman, M., Landefeld, C., Rosenthal, G., Berththal, D., Sen, S., & Keboli, P. (2006) Polypharmacy and prescribing quality in older people. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 54, 1516-1523.


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SOURCE AARP
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