Drug Use Among Seniors on Public Drug Programs in Canada, 2012 – Canadian Institute for Health Information – 1 May 2014
“Most seniors in Canada are taking at least 5 drugs—and that number increases dramatically for older seniors and those living in long-term care facilities, according to a new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).
Drug Use Among Seniors on Public Drug Programs in Canada, 2012 found that nearly two-thirds of seniors (those age 65 and older) are taking 5 or more prescription drugs. Drug use increases with age, with more than 40% of Canadians age 85 and older taking more than 10 drugs. Additionally, seniors living in long-term care facilities take more medications than those who are living in the community; nearly two-thirds are taking at least 10 drugs.”
“Although seniors those age 65 and older account for only 15% of the Canadian population, they are estimated to account for 40% of all spending on prescribed drugs and 60% of public drug program spending. Seniors take more drugs than younger Canadians because, on average, they have a higher number of chronic conditions. Although taking multiple medications may be necessary to manage these conditions it is important to consider the benefits and risks of each medication and the therapeutic goals of the patient. Drug use is also important to monitor from a spending perspective, as increased drug utilization has been found to be the biggest driver of drug spending in Canada.”