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New Survey Shows Seniors Struggle Under the Weight of Multiple Medication Use
Date:12/29/2009

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., Dec. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- America's seniors are being overwhelmed by the number of prescription drugs they take on a daily basis. According to a new national survey of more than 1,000 people ages 65 and older who use medications, more than half (51 percent) take at least five different prescription drugs regularly and one in four take between 10 and 19 pills each day.

The challenge of managing multiple medications is clear - nearly three in five (57 percent) of those polled admit that they forget to take their medications. Furthermore, the more drugs they use, the more likely they are not to remember to take them. Among those using five or more medications, 63 percent say they forget doses; a higher rate as compared to 51 percent among people who take fewer medicines.

"It's usually the patients who are in worse health who are taking large numbers of prescription drugs. For these people, especially, taking their medications properly and regularly is critical," said Dr. Woody Eisenberg, vice president and chief medical officer of Medco Retiree Solutions. "The problem is that the more medications prescribed, the harder it is for older people to manage them well and know essential information that can help prevent medication-related harm."

The survey, conducted by Kelton Research on behalf of Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) also reveals what seniors don't know about their medications could potentially harm them, and the more medications they take, the less they seem to know. More than one third (34 percent) of seniors using five or more prescription drugs do not feel knowledgeable enough about the drugs they're prescribed or their potential side effects, and 35 percent are not sure they can name all the medications they use.

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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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