13/07/2012 - RPS comments on low prescribing rates for elderly
Commenting on research in the BMJ on the impact of age and sex on primary preventive treatment for cardiovascular disease, and the call from the researchers that more elderly patients should be prescribed drugs to tackle high blood pressure and cholesterol, Nina Barnett, Consultant Pharmacist and RPS spokesperson on medicines for older people said:
"Prescribing for older people is complex. While this study appears to suggest that older people may not be receiving potentially beneficial preventative treatment, it does not tell us whether these treatments were offered to patients and declined or whether there were other factors which made the risk of prescribing greater than the benefit to the patients.
“Age alone is not a reason to withhold evidence based drugs from patients. Any decisions regarding treatment should consider the patients clinical condition, in particular other diseases which may impact on outcome, the benefits and risks of drug therapy for the individual and should only be taken in full consultation with the patient themselves and, if appropriate, their relatives."