I hope this note finds you well.
As an Independent Medicare Insurance Broker, with no ties to Medicare, I often chat with people on Medicare and learn about their medications.
It’s unusual for me to speak with Medicare consumers who aren’t taking any medications.
That’s why I was super excited to read about this initiative to “Eliminate Medication Overload.”
Check out the initiative here.
In the video I mistakenly said, “Two thirds of all Medicare Consumers are taking over five medications.”
The actual number is “39% of those over age 65 now use five or more medications- that’s a 70 percent increase over 12 years.” Polypharmacy is often defined as “taking five or more drugs concurrently.”
Taking multiple medications regularly increases the chances of unwanted side effects and adverse reactions.
So the next time you refill a prescription or visit a physician, bring a complete list of all your medications and ask:
1. What is this drug for?
2. Why am I taking it?
3. Could it be having a negative interaction with any of the other drugs I am taking?
4. Do I really need to be taking this medication?
5. Is there a safer and/or a less expensive alternative?
You may need to be on all your current medications, but maybe you’ll be surprised :). That’s the drive to deprescribe.
That’s it for this week and if you have questions about Medicare Insurance Coverage, book a time on my calendar here!
Quotations from “The Dangers of ‘Polypharmacy,’ the Ever-Mounting Pile of Pills.” NYT 6/13/21